New constitution to be voted on by Students via web

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Eric Ercanbrack

The Broadside

The newest revision to the potential constitution for COCC’s student government has been posted online for 30 days. Now it’s time for the students to vote whether to ratify or throw out the new proposed constitution. Students can vote for or against the proposal by accessing Blackboard, April 12 to 15, on COCC’s website. The entire student body is encouraged to vote.

“They’re (the student government) representing the students and spending student fees that every student pays. So, I think it’s important that they (the student body) voice their opinion on where their money is spent or how it’s spent,” said Gordon Price, the direct of student life and advisor to the Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College. A fee of $1.50 per credit, up to a maximum of $18 per term, is allocated by ASCOCC. The money is budgeted for clubs, programs, and student life activities. For the 2009 to 2010 year, ASCOCC‘s estimated student-fee income was $200,000. These funds are budgeted and governed by the student government, which must abide by a constitution.

“We didn’t have a constitution in place that was valid and current.” said Brenda Pierce, the marketing coordinator for ASCOCC. “It’s really important that we have a constitution that students can vote on that will be valid to student government, to clubs and programs.”

ASCOCC has been loosely abiding by a constitution that was “open for interpretation and wasn’t very clear,” said Pierce. ASCOCC’s former constitution is one of many successors. The first constitution was ratified on Feb. 10 1954. The entire student body, which consisted of 150 students, participated in the creation and voted on the constitution. A two thirds vote was needed by the student body in 1954 for ratification. The newest proposed constitution also needs a two- thirds majority vote by COCC students. According to ASCOCC’s former constitution, 66 percent of the voters will need to vote yes for the student government to adopt the document.

Aimee Metcalf, the director of admissions and registrar, gave a preliminary number of students attending COCC for spring term. On April 6 2010, 6,269 students were enrolled at the college. The amount of students at COCC may have changed since 1954, but students can still vote on issues concerning the college. The proposed constitution outlines the allocation of student funds, elections, duties, and overall regulations. The document also refers to the by-laws, which are a second document not included in the constitution.

“The by-laws were actually given to us by our advisor, not very long ago, and it was paper work that he found when we moved from Grandview. So we’ve never really had by-laws that were current.” Brenda Pierce said. “The by-laws will outline, in detail, ASCOCC’s roles, responsibilities, elections, all of the different day to day practices at ASCOCC.”

The by-laws, which were last revised in 1991, also plan to be updated.

“They are updating the by-laws right now as we speak.” Gordon Price said. The by-laws will be separately revised apart from the constitution. When asked what might happen if students vote against the proposal Gordon Price said, “I guess it’s back to the drawing board. They’ll probably revert back to the constitution that they have been running on for the last several years.” If the constitution is not ratified, the document will have to be reviewed to see if there were any issues. If any changes occur to the proposed constitution, it will need to be posted for another 30 days in order to be voted on again.

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