In the Bulletin on Oct. 14, the lawyer for COCC’s student government dismissed the controversy surrounding the role his clients play and their definition at the college by saying that it “‘looks like a much bigger issue than it is.’ ”It looks like a big issue because it is a big issue.
It’s a big issue because if elected members of the student government are trying to shake off college policy and define themselves in such a way that they and they alone are in charge of and oversee hundreds of thousands of dollars, students may wonder what protects them against corruption.
What will it be like when they are outside of college policy with only themselves to write and rewrite their constitution, set policy and restructure their roles?
ASCOCC issued a memorandum on Oct. 12 stating that they had hired an attorney (who typically charges $295 per hour) and a consultant for “public relations training.” Why would a student government, with the student’s best interest at heart have to hire a PR consultant?
It is clear that student fee money is being spent on the lawyer; students need to see the bill for the consultant. The Broadside has formally requested this public document and are waiting for its release.
In the memorandum, one of the areas where ASCOCC claims the need for legal help is in avoiding being dissolved by the college. These are serious issues. The word “dissolution” comes to mind when something is not working and it is time to start over. It is not a concept that is thrown around lightly. Obviously serious things are afoot with COCC’s student representatives.
This leads us to the events at the Oregon Community College training in Vernonia. COCC student government—ambassadors of COCC—brought alcohol to a training that was sharing space with a middle school basketball camp, took off to the coast during the training and rented hotels rooms when lodging and meals were provided with training registration.
This connotes a sense of entitlement that is undeserved and a serious lapse in judgement. Is this a pattern?
Students and administration need to question just how autonomous their student government should be.
This is the biggest issue of all.
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