ASCOCC hopes to have bylaws by end of the academic year

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The student government is still operating without bylaws.

The Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College have been working on creating bylaws to help govern the council since fall 2012.

Initially, they hoped to have the bylaws finished and in place by the beginning of winter term 2013, according to Taran Underdal, ASCOCC’s advisor. The process of writing and reviewing the bylaws took longer than expected, according to Underdal, because the council was starting from scratch.

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“Since there were no bylaws currently in place it is important that the ones being created are thorough,” said Underdal.
ASCOCC’s bylaws would serve as operational guidelines, according to Dean of Students Alicia Moore, who is in the process of editing the current draft of the bylaws.

“Bylaws are the nuts and bolts of daily operational procedure,” said Moore.

The bylaws are also important to help new student governments learn from the previous council.

“When student government changes leadership every year [bylaws] serve as a good historical document,” said Moore.

The bylaws will not likely be put into place in time to impact the current ASCOCC council, according to Megan Cole, the director of fiscal operations at ASCOCC. Cole is currently working with Moore to address edits made to the current draft of the bylaws.

“The editing process is bigger than we thought,” Cole said.

ASCOCC’s bylaws still need to be approved by Moore and recommended to James Middleton, the president of COCC, for approval.

Cole and Moore believe the bylaws will be completed and approved by the end of spring term 2013.

“They’ll be ready for the next council,” Cole said.

Though ASCOCC has been operating without formal bylaws, the council is not ungoverned, according to Moore. Most regulations that would “typically be addressed in bylaws” are covered by the college policy, explained Moore.

“They are already operating under a thorough set of rules,” she said.

Moore stated that she has no “real objections” to ASCOCC’s current draft of bylaws, and that most of her edits are either cosmetic or organizational.

“They’re predominantly ‘clean up’ type issues,” Moore said.

Moore is also working with the student government to decide what clauses belong in the bylaws as opposed to ASCOCC’s constitution. Some things previously outlined in the constitution may be moved to the bylaws.

“Some of the pieces put into the constitution were situational to several years ago,” Moore said. “We’ve realized that some of these are issues that may fit better in the bylaws… it’s hard to decide what goes where.”

If changes are made to the constitution, Moore does not believe it will be necessary to bring it before the student body to vote, as they will be minor changes that are compensated for in the bylaws.

“But that will be the council’s decision,” Moore said.

Moore believes the student government is on the “right track.”

“It’s a very tedious and detailed process to craft bylaws with staying power,” Moore said. “If they can get through the creation of the entire bylaws in a year they should be proud.”

–Cedar Goslin

The Broadside

(contact: cgoslin@cocc.edu)

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