Student government meets despite Title IX complaint

Student+government+meets+despite+Title+IX+complaint

MICHAEL JULIANO, Channels Staff

The Associated Student Government adjourned Friday morning despite a recommendation from the Board of Trustees to withhold any meetings because of the pending Title IX investigation.

The student government was misinformed Wednesday when it was told that it was suspended. Faculty Advisor Chris Johnson later learned that the neither himself nor the Board of Trustees had the right to suspend formal activities. A couple of the senators had reached out to Superintendent-President Anthony Beebe, who told them that holding off meetings for “two or three weeks,” as was recommended, was unacceptable.

Student Trustee David Panbehchi brought up the idea of screening a movie in a prior meeting, but first wanted to consult the Black Student Union given the controversial nature of  “Crips and Bloods: Made in America.” Saturne Tchabong took over the project and gave a presentation seeking an official endorsement from the Associate Student Government for the event.

The Black Student Union wants to hold the screening sometime next week. The officers decided unanimously to support the screening, where members from the Black Student Union will offer their thoughts on the movie and issues facing the black community.

A club devoted to finding careers in nanotechnology was approved unanimously as well as a club that acts as an honors society for S.T.E.M. majors.

The entire student government could not help but address the elephant in the room which was the Title IX and election investigation, despite repeated recommendations from their faculty advisor Johnson not to talk about it.

A conflict the officers had was that the Board of Trustees did not want them to re-open the application process to fulfill the marketing position they left vacant last week. Johnson did not shut down the conversations and let the body speak.

Panbehchi was the initial member to raise concerns about the “precedent being set” by the board’s complaint being so powerful that it could have shut down the student government for weeks.

“There’s no indictment, just an accusation,” Panbehchi said.

Panbehchi strongly supported the board’s right to re-open the application process.

Commissioner of Academics, Cristian Walk, also frequently brought up the investigation throughout the morning.

“I think we should at least have a discussion about re-opening the application,” Walk said. “I don’t think it’s a good precedent to set to have the administration telling us what we can and cannot discuss.”

Isla Vista Representative Josh Oken cautioned the board to cooperate with the Board of Trustees because of the severity of Title IX complaint.

“Instead of just appointing someone just because we don’t want ‘the man’ telling us what to do, I think we should wait until we figure this out,” Oken said.

Student Advocate, Krystle Farmer, attempted to moderate Walk’s adamancy.

“Sometimes, it’s ok to just sit back and listen,” she said. “Let’s assess the situation first. Let’s be strategic. Sometimes we need to pick and choose our battles.”

While the group had disagreements in regards to strategy, they bonded over their frustration with what they saw as overreach from the Board of Trustees. The group voted to re-open the application process.