Votes needed for proposed constitution



Irene Cooper
 The Broadside 
  The Associated Students of Central Oregon College, via Blackboard, is asking for input from its members—that’s anyone who has paid tuition and student fees—on the proposed ASCOCC constitution.
The new ASCOCC constitution will be ratified or rejected by the COCC student body via a vote through Blackboard. The constitution will be approved by a majority vote, which means any number of votes, no matter how few or how many, can decide the outcome.
“ASCOCC is in the process of finalizing the proposed constitution. A date for the students to vote has not yet been established,” stated the ASCOCC staff via e-mail.
Terry Link, budget coordinator for the ASCOCC Student Council, said the council is close to completing a finished document. The council is trying to bring a set of bylaws up to date along with the proposed constitution.
The Bylaws are the “working guts” that function as a manual for council members, said Gordon Price, Director of Student Life, and Faculty Advisor to ASCOCC.
The bylaws will not be posted alongside the proposed constitution, but will be available for viewing when the documents are complete, said Link.
The proposed document currently available for view—and open for comments and suggestions— is not the one that will be voted on in the spring. Certain references, such as the use of a Full Time Equivalency calculation to determine an acceptable percentage of eligible petitioners for an initiative, will not appear in the final version. Since the voting eligibility requirements are no longer based on a minimum number of credits, but solely on whether tuition and student fees have been paid, the calculation is no longer necessary.
In a recent e-mail, Pierce said the FTE “is one thing that is going to change. We will not be using FTE.”
The proposed constitution has been available for viewing on the ASCOCC page of the COCC website since January 4, but there has been very little student response, according to Price. Student input on what has been included in the proposed constitution has been based on meetings and inquiries that occurred last year.

It is required that the proposed constitution be available for view for thirty days prior to a student body vote. When asked if a finalized proposed constitution, as opposed to the one currently on the webpage, would require an additional thirty days, Link said that significant alteration might require the extended view time, but that minor changes in wording shouldn’t merit another thirty days.

Asked about how attention would be drawn to the vote, ASCOCC staff replied, “When the document has been finalized, ASCOCC will utilize all marketing avenues to inform students of the opportunity to vote on Blackboard.”

The vote to ratify or reject the new constitution will be available for a minimum of three consecutive days on Blackboard.

Last spring’s student council election, in which council members were elected by a majority vote, had a voter turnout of approximately 300, about five percent of the 5800-member student body of COCC. Precise numbers were unavailable.

“Election data is normally removed from the server three months after the conclusion of the election,” said Barbara Klett, Instructional Technology Coordinator.

The student council is comprised of three members elected in the spring term, with three additional members appointed by the elected. Terms are for one year, with a two-year limit on consecutive service. Amendments to the constitution may be made by a two-thirds vote within the council, and special elections may be held regarding initiatives or emerging issues.


 You may contact Irene Cooper at



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