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Senate member explains reason for breaking open meeting law

The Channels Opinion Pages | Letter to the Editor

Daniel Wallace, Student Vice President of External Affairs

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Daniel Wallace

Lauren Michelle McGee
Daniel Wallace

This letter’s intent is to provide more context in the limited space provided. The views expressed in the letter are my own. I do not intend to represent the senate here.

The Student Fee Handbook details what fees California Community Colleges are authorized to charge students.

Although the senate voted in favor of putting a sustainability fee on the ballot March 22, if the senate had put an item on the ballot to create a new college fee to fund sustainability projects and it passed, the college could not have implemented it.

I made the March 22 motion with the intention that the sustainability revenue be obtained by putting an item on the ballot to raise the Student Activities Fee $5, and to exclusively allocate that extra revenue towards sustainability projects.

After the meeting, the senate was advised that the specific wording of the motion made it so the Student Activities Fee could not be raised as I had intended. The April 12 meeting was supposed to rectify that.

On April 12, I motioned to raise the Student Activities Fee $5 and to exclusively allocate that extra revenue towards sustainability projects, but the motion failed because it was not seconded.

Then, Student Trustee Kenny Igbechi made a short but passionate speech against the fee, and I knew that if even one other senator voted against raising the Student Activities Fee because of that speech, the motion would fail, and there would be no new ballot item to even potentially fund sustainability.

Because of that, I then motioned to put an item on the ballot to raise the Student Activities Fee and allocate the revenue to the senate without restrictions, which I knew would pass yet also still give next year’s senate the ability to use the funds for sustainability if they chose to do so.

On April 14, the senate held a Special Meeting to officially rescind the March 22 motion. The senate voted in favor of rescinding the motion before the ballot was officially sent to the college April 15.

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Senate member explains reason for breaking open meeting law