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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 revises funding policy

City College Student Senate Vice President Sabrina Edward (far left) and Student Senate President Sheku Baryoh (far right) get into a debate about the verbiage used to express a conflict of interest in a new amendment to the Student Associated Council Constitution in Rodda Hall North Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (Denzell Washington/The Express/[email protected])

After confusion about an amendment change, the Student Associated Council (SAC) unanimously approved revisions to its funding policy Oct. 2.

According to an article in the Express from February 2019, the policy revisions are a result of perceived conflicts of interest during spring 2019 with SAC board members who were involved in Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), which requested funding last semester to attend the International PTK Convention. 

During the Oct 2. meeting, Baryoh said SAC adopted a bylaw that originally stated that “voting members of SAC that are members of a requesting organization, club or group must recuse themselves from voting.” It was changed to “are advised to recuse themselves from voting” to comply with Roberts’ Rules of Order, which SAC follows as a student government organization, said Student Life Supervisor and SAC adviser Deborah Knowles.

According to SAC records from this semester, the board has discussed spending $36,000 of the $126,847 of the rep fee fund (that SAC received in August 2019) to send its board members to advocacy conferences. 

The rep fee fund comes from a $1 fee all City College students pay for classes, which is allocated to SAC by the Los Rios Community College District for the advocacy of all City College students and running student government operations, according to Knowles.  

According to SAC President Sheku Baryoh, money for two conferences was approved—the Circle of Change Conference and the California Community College Student Affairs (CCCSA). Baryoh said that any student at City College may attend the conferences, and must fill out forms in the Student Senate Office at SOG 226 if they wish to do so.

The Circle of Change conference is a three-day conference held in Los Angeles and cost shouldn’t exceed $15,000, which was approved at an Oct. 9 meeting with a 12–3 vote.

The CCCSA is held at the state Capitol and provides Student Senate members with training on government policies and cost shouldn’t exceed $7,000, which SAC approved at a Sept. 11 meeting.

“They’re [the conferences] not mandatory but because every semester we have new board members coming in, and they don’t know how the Brown Acts, Robert’s Rules or the state constitution work they get all that training,” said Bayroh.

SAC members discussed how to spend the remaining $15,000 and whether to send a student and advisor to Washington, D.C., for the National Student Advocacy Conference. Bayroh said he wanted this request removed to save money.

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According to Knowles, changes to the bylaws were made to avoid confusion and ensure that all City College clubs, groups and organizations received fair funding.  

The change of the bylaw was motioned by secretary of Legislative Affairs Terell Easton who said the rewording made the amendment grammatically correct and fair.

Myles Cobbs, secretary for sustainability, first questioned the original bylaw because he said he didn’t understand why it said that SAC members “must recuse themselves from voting.”

“It seems kind of like a conflict of what we want to do here,” said Cobbs. “I thought we wanted to have as much representation from campus organizations as possible.” 

Secretary of Public Relations Joshua Robinson supported the original bylaw amendment.

“I think it’s really easy to join the Student Senate, first of all. All you have to do is come here and say, ‘I want to take on a position,’” said Robinson. “ I think this amendment deters groups or organizations from being able to be the majority of the Senate and voting on things that represent their club.” 

After further discussion, Knowles said the amendment as it was originally written  violatedRobert’s Rules of Order, which SAC and other governmental bodies follow.

“In Robert’s Rules of Order words, (the term ‘must recuse themselves’) takes away the voice and vote. Therefore, saying ‘must recuse’ is against Robert’s Rules of Order, and we didn’t know that at the time this (amendment) was drafted,” said Knowles. 

Baryoh and the rest of the SAC board unanimously approved the amendment change and continued with the rest of the agenda.

“Well, as is with everything, you have to compromise with everyone,” Bayroh said. “You can’t just do what you want. I can live with the amendments that were passed and a couple of words being changed.” 

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