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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Student’s money could fund Student Senate’s paychecks


A campus-wide voting poll will be activated this Wednesday which could determine if Associated Student Government officers receive stipends throughout the spring semester of 2017.

At last week’s student senate meeting, the officers decided how much money from their student representation fund would be used for stipends. The student representation fund is made up of a Student Representation Fee that City College students pay each term, yet 55 percent of that budget is apportioned for student senate stipends.

Dr. Ben Partee, associate dean of student affairs, is requiring the ASG to revise their constitution to include stipends and where the money comes from before he signs off on their budget for the semester. The poll will include the original version of the constitution along with the new, revised version.

“This is student money, not the student senate’s money, but student’s money” said Dr. Partee. “I am not comfortable signing all of this money off unless it goes out for a vote.”

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Before debating the stipends, the senate had already decided to put several changes to the constitution up for a student vote. Primary among them is lowering the threshold for how many students must sign a petition to amend the constitution. They also added language inviting the presidents of all campus clubs to become members of the Inter-Club Council

The student officers Friday decided that stipends be added to the ballot and to move up the election. They are in a rush to put it through the voting process before the new Officers are appointed to the board so that they know exactly what they can offer them.

When a revision is proposed in the constitution, it is required that the ASG holds a student referendum for the changes to be approved. A ⅔ majority vote among City College students is required for it to be passed. 

If a ⅔ majority vote is not accomplished, the voting process will have to start over and none of the changes will come into action until the ⅔ is met. Conflicting opinions among the officers puts the decision entirely up to students.

Student Senate President Dylan Raiman
Student Senate President Dylan Raiman

“When we start to compensate people for the work they do, I really strongly believe that it will change the culture and perception of the organization, and they will start to take their representation of the students more seriously,” said President Dylan Raiman. “This is money that has been extremely difficult to spend on anything else.”

Contradictory to Raiman’s opinion, Maggie Hodgins, commissioner of clubs and organizations, feels that approving these changes would not be in the student’s best interest.
“As an ASG officer I am certain these funds can be allocated more efficiently for the direct benefit of our students,” said Hodgins. “I am concerned that this change to the constitution is driven by personal motives instead of the public interest.”

Officers will be campaigning this upcoming week in preparation for the referendum.
An email will be sent out to all City College students on Monday morning with the information about the changes, and a link to vote in regards to the changes.

On Tuesday the officers are holding a public forum in Campus Center Room 223 where the public can review the changes and have a discussion with the officers if questions arise.

Voting will begin early Wednesday morning through Thursday afternoon.

Clarification: Feb. 6, 2017

A previous version of this story did not include an explanation about other amendments in the student senate constitution. In this updated version, it lists examples of the other changes that students should expect to see in their revised constitution that will be up to a vote this week.

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