A Central Oregon Community College student claimed discrimination factored into student government members’ refusal of her request to start a club during their Oct. 24 meeting.
At the meeting, COCC Student Maggie Skyler asked to re-open the crafter’s guild, a club where artists can meet and practice their skill. Three Associated Students of COCC (ASCOCC) members approved and three denied the request. ASCOCC eventually motioned
to table their decision to a later meeting.
ASCOCC Member Kelly Huskey voiced concern during the meeting that Skyler was “stretching herself too thin” because she was already the founder of the volunteer club, a member of the sustainability committee, as well as a student and mother.
“My concern was that she’s over extending herself,” said Huskey. “I know how hard it is to get all of that stuff taken care of.”
Skyler said there are no rules against founding multiple club, claiming the worries about her schedule were just “an excuse to say no” and that her children should not have been a factor. However, Huskey said allowing the request would go against her job’s responsibilities.
“I don’t want [students] to set themselves up for failure,” said Huskey. “I feel like it’s my job to help them not to fail, but to succeed.”
Other ASCOCC members also raised concerns about students running multiple clubs.
“What I wanted to make sure of was there was a plan to keep the volunteer club funds for the volunteer club and crafter’s guild funds for the crafter’s guild,” said ASCOCC Member Michael Biermann.
He was concerned partially because Skyler had previously requested to use the print screen machine of the previous crafter’s guild.
This issue was brought up during the meeting, which Skyler took offense to, stating, “It’s ludicrous that someone would practically
accuse me of stealing money … I would never use crafter’s guild money for a volunteer [club] event.”
A past conflict between Skyler and ASCOCC members may have factored into the decision as well, according to her. During a previous ASCOCC meeting, she accused ASCOCC Member Kyder Olsen of cheating on an exam, an allegation that ultimately led to an investigation.
“Maggie and I have put the past behind us,” said Olsen. “No past occurrences have played a part in my vote.”
ASCOCC Member Matt Coito however, had a different opinion.
“I definitely think there was some bias,” said Coito.
He said some of the council members “got emotional” over the conflict with Skyler, which played into their decision. Biermann,
“I believe the concern was not at all about who the founding members were,” said Biermann. “[ASCOCC members] were concerned about voting on something they didn’t have all of the information in on.”
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