Where does the money go?
The Broadside, ASCOCC, and other school clubs are funded by student activity fees and renewable energy fees, which are $1.50 per credit and a 25 cents per credit respectively, up to 12 credits. According to Student Life Director Alicia Moore, this goes toward paying a little extra for renewable energy through Pacific Power, COCC’s provider.
If a student disagrees with the required activity fees, there are options to change them. According to the ASCOCC constitution, a student may obtain a referendum on fees by collecting student signatures greater than or equal to 10 percent of the previous quarter’s fourth-week credit-student enrollment. However, the student referendum is only a recommendation for the COCC Board of Directors. The deciding power is not entirely in the hands of the students.
According to the Lane Community College’s (LCC) student newspaper, The Torch, former LCC Student Senator Francisco Gomez filed a lawsuit against LCC’s Board of Education over where LCC student fees were being allocated. He claimed his inability to influence the process that determines where his money is distributed is a violation of his first amendment rights. This matter was settled outside of court, resulting in the student receiving $6,500 and being placed on a board for the allocation of fees.
According to Vice President of Legislative Affairs JoriLynn Messner, the LCC student government is looking into changing their bylaws and constitution to make the language more explicit with regard to the allocation of student fees.
Messner said that the commitments of ASCOCC are clear, but the feasibility of a similar lawsuit directed toward COCC is a difficult question to answer.
“I cannot speculate (on a potential lawsuit), but we cross our T’s and dot our I’s. We do our best to be clear and upfront when representing the campus,” Messner said.
Jack Ewing | The Broadside Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org