Students asked to read it thoroughly before Voting
The ASCOCC constitution is up for vote despite objections from a council member and very little student input. Joshu Budish, ASCOCC’s Project Coordinator, raised some objections to the constitution during a recent ASCOCC meeting.
At the meeting, Budish proposed raising council members’ credit hour requirement at COCC to an average of six per school year. The current and proposed requirement for council member qualification is a minimum of one credithour, as stated in Article IV, Section 4.2 of the constitution. Not having more credit hours “takes you away from living life on campus as a student,” said Budish. “Psychologically, we (the council members) think less as students … With more classes, you’re more aligned to the nature of a student.”
Budish’s concerns regarding minimum credit hours along with his suggestions for limiting term limits and increasing the minimum required GPA of council members were voted down in the ASCOCC meeting. Other members felt like it was too late to make changes. Student feedback regarding ASCOCC issues, however, has been minimal in the past. The student council elections of last spring, where council members were elected by majority vote, had a turnout of around 300 student votes, about five percent of COCC’s 5,800-member student body.
While not at the forefront of ASCOCC’s responsibilities, according to Pierce, ASCOCC has tried to reach out to students to increase their level of input. A group meeting addressing student issues and round table discussions were held last spring to gather student input, according to an ASCOCC flyer for the constitution.
The changes made to the document were essentially minor changes, according to Pierce.
“There were some holes that we filled and stuff that didn’t apply anymore that we got rid of,” said Pierce.
Some of the final draft’s current policies, however, are still raising issues among students. While some council members may be trying to identify with the students better, many of the students are unaware of ASCOCC’s order of business.
“I think it (ASCOCC) hasn’t been put out there enough,” said Ashley Davis, a COCC student. “Professors could at least put up a bulletin for it during class.”
Although ASCOCC has flyers and advertisements prominently displayed around campus for other events that it sponsors, the lack of awareness of the role of ASCOCC is primarily blamed on lack of detailed information.
“I don’t know a whole lot about it (ASCOCC),” said Daniel Gutierrez, a COCC student. “I don’t even know what they do.” Along with lack of information, the low levels of student feedback are blamed on student apathy towards ASCOCC.
“This kind of overall apathy … it’s typical at college,” said Gordon Price, the Director of Student Life. “I think it (the constitution) is an issue, however, because [ASCOCC is] spending [the students’] money.”
As far as how students should respond to the proposed constitution, that is up to the students themselves, according to ASCOCC.
“Anyone who is active should care,” said Budish. “I urge everyone to really read it thoroughly and think about its implications … I urge the student body to vote, but before voting, to read it, and if they have any concerns to send them to ASCOCC … We will listen to student concerns.”
For a copy of the proposed constitution, see page 2. You can also review the constitution online at the COCC website.
You may contact Tobey Veenstra at firstname.lastname@example.org