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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Student Associated Council tackles important student issues
California Students march for better policy practices and more equality for those who need either fi nancial assistance or a safe place to learn in downtown Sacramento. Photo by Gabby Smith // [email protected]

Will Dunne-Phillips | News Editor | [email protected]

Student government works while planning April election

The Student Associated Council last semester set goals, made resolutions and planned for changes at City College.

The same council members, now in their second semesters in office, are implementing their plans while assessing remaining issues that have carried into 2015.

According to Pia Lomboy, SAC secretary of public relations, some of the resolutions that passed in the fall semester and are in progress include; installation of water-saving drinking fountains with water bottle filling stations, more representation and advocacy for the City College outreach center at Davis, and Empowerment Grants to fund campus clubs.

“Grants have been approved for three clubs at this point, including the Brown Issues Club, MECHS, the Mechanical Engineering Club, and Veterans Club, and are in the processing stage,” said Lomboy.

According to Lincoln Scott, student at large for SAC and the former PR secretary, and Miguel Guerrero, secretary of the Student Senate, SAC reached out to students at the Davis Center last semester, too.

“We talked to the students at the Davis outreach center and told them about leadership,” said Scott. “Our goal was to find out if students felt they were being properly represented and to tell them [that] if not, they have the right to create their own senate.”

According to Guerrero, a student survey taken at the Davis Center proved informative for both SAC and students at the center.

“The survey informed students that they could seek their own representation or have a student from City College represent them,” said Guerrero.

Lomboy said current council members are preparing to welcome new student government officers at the end of this semester, while they work to implement resolutions and resolve issues before the end of the current SAC term in May.

The Student Associated Council campaigns and holds elections every April, according to Lomboy, and students at City College have the opportunity to run for any seat, including presidential and senatorial positions. Any currently enrolled City College student planning to attend during the 2015-2016 year can run for office. The torch will be passed from old to new council members May 13, and new SAC members come into office July 1.

According to Lomboy, students can cast their votes electronically April 14–15 using eservices to decide who will represent them this fall.

In the coming year, Lomboy said, “New issues and old are discussed by SAC, and goals are set for the upcoming year. Issues that were not solved by the previous SAC will continue to be worked on as well as new goals that have been brought to the attention of the council.”

Issues that have already surfaced this semester, Lomboy said, are a lack of participation by students in the bi-yearly March in March protest at the Capitol and student services issues in higher education.
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The yearly education reform rally, March in March, consists of students and administrators from the UC, CSU and community college systems who march through Sacramento, meeting at the Capitol to protest fee increases and the cost of education in the state.

According to Lincoln Scott, the March in March is usually a very large protest consisting of thousands of students from all over the state, but this year saw a much smaller attendance than in the past.

“The march is put on by the SSCCC, or the Student Senate for Community Colleges California,” said Scott. “This year the focus was Prop. 13 and the 1.5 percent tax on big business that is put into higher education. Over the past five years the march was about higher tuition, but over the past year there has been an influx of money going into education, even though tuition is still high, so it’s not the same cause anymore. ”

According to Lomboy and Guerrero, the availability of financial aid and the BOG fee waiver for students in 2014 may be the reason the numbers from City College were low, despite SAC’s efforts to promote the March in March.

“We sent emails, I talked to students personally, and we posted a lot of flyers all over the main City College campus,” said Lomboy. “City College still had a very low attendance. I have a feeling that students didn’t consider the issues as important because of the focus of the event this year.”

According to Scott, the march is still important, but a lot of students who received grants or financial aid that they hadn’t gotten are less likely to pay attention to the protest when it involves issues other than money for education.

“The availability of the BOG fee waiver [at City College] has definitely been a big help to me,” said Guerrero. “When I lived in Los Angeles three years ago, I had to pay way more and in full for my classes. I think this is a relief to me and other students.”

Despite low attendance, City College was still represented at the march by Lincoln Scott and other students, and SAC members remain positive about the event.

“I spoke to assemblymen about Prop. 13 reform, more funding for higher education and defending programs for veterans and disabled students, including adding mental health facilities to community college campuses,” said Scott.

Scott said he met with state officials, including Assembly members Kevin McCarty and Susan Eggman about issues in education ranging from tuition to mental health and veterans services.

“We received positive feedback on the issues we brought up,” said Scott. “The representatives didn’t realize we had so many issues with mental health and veterans services on campus, and they took an interest.”

According to Lomboy, SAC looks forward to working with the newly appointed Student Associated Council in the coming year. Resolutions for 2015 include obtaining summer bus passes for students, requesting a mental health worker on campus, and more gender-neutral bathrooms that serve the LGBTQIA community.

“School is a place for all students,” said Lomboy. “Every student deserves to have a comfort zone.”

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