Changes are coming to the Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College. Their first two meetings, which took place Jan. 10 and Jan. 18, were partially dedicated to discussing the working draft of ASCOCC’s by-laws and filling the newly open position for director of public relations.
Shara Huskey resigns
Shara Huskey resigned from her position as ASCOCC’s director of public relations on Dec. 31, 2012. She sent a letter explaining her resignation to each of the five remaining council members, who later informed Taran Underdal, ASCOCC’s advisor. Huskey’s reason for resigning was that she is no longer a student at COCC.
“She resigned to pursue other career endeavors out of the area,” said Underdal.
At the meeting, the remaining ASCOCC council voted to accept Huskey’s resignation; all were in favor, except for Kelly Huskey, the director of student organizations, who abstained due to her romantic relationship with Shara Huskey.
The student council must consist of six members, according to ASCOCC’s constitution. During their meeting on Jan. 18, the council decided to begin the two week hiring process for the open public relations position. The hiring committee will consist of all five council members and two members of COCC faculty.
ASCOCC has been working on drafting their by-laws since fall 2012; so far they have been operating without by-laws or any governing set of rules other than their constitution.
On Jan. 17 Huskey e-mailed a copy of the by-laws to all COCC club advisors for review. ASCOCC is currently accepting student feedback on the by-laws, and stated at the meeting on Jan. 18 that they hope to have all edits made by their next meeting, which will take place sometime the week of Jan. 28, so they can vote to approve them.
Kelly Huskey stated during the Jan. 10 meeting that she is currently under academic probation,because she failed to uphold a 2.3 grade point average, which is the minimum set by the ASCOCC constitution.
When a council member is placed under academic probation, they have one full quarter to raise their GPA to 2.3 or they will be removed from the council, according to the ASCOCC constitution. Huskey stated that the reason she did not obtain a 2.3 GPA was because one of her two fall classes was a pass/no pass style class, which did not count towards improving her GPA. Because of the complication this posed for her and the complications it may cause others in the future, Huskey suggested adding an exception in the by-laws for pass/no pass classes. However, the suggestion did not make it into the next draft of the by-laws.
“By-laws will not be changed to accommodate pass/no pass classes,” said Underdal on Jan. 16.
Clubs and conflict of interest
The ASCOCC council discussed adding a by-law that would prevent council members from voting on issues regarding clubs and organizati ons of which they are a member.
Previously, the council has operated on an “informal rule” that council members abstain from voting on such previous interviews with The Broadside. On Dec. 4 Huskey voted to allot funding to the Criminal Justice club, of which she is a member, and later attempted to retract her vote, claiming she had not intended to vote in the first place.
ASCOCC’s Fiscal Operations Director Megan Cole and Director of Legislative Affairs Kurt Killinger expressed their beliefs that council members voting on their own clubs and organizations creates a conflict of interest, regarding Huskey’s vote on the Criminal Justice Club. Huskey also stated that she believed it was unethical, which is why she attempted to retract her vote. Killinger had stated that a formal rule restricting such a vote should be added into the by-laws.
However, at the meeting that took place on Jan. 10 Underdal stated that she did not think council members should be barred from voting on all issues regarding clubs and organizations in which they held membership. The council members discussed that, as an alternative to adding a by-law, ASCOCC members should continue to hold themselves accountable and take responsibility for knowing when to abstain. ASCOCC’s by-laws do not restrict council members voting on their own clubs and organizations as of press time.