According to ASCOCC’s memorandum,
“The ASCOCC Executive and General council has taken action on appropriating funds today to hire Bend Attorney Greg Lynch, Miller Nash to advocate for ASCOCC in determining the following:
- Clarify ASCOCC’s autonomy
- Solidify ASCOCC’s authority to allocate student fees within the structure of ASCOCC’s constitution and bylaws.
- Work in good faith with the College Administration in this effort (establish working parameters)
- Ensure that COCC cannot dissolve or alter ASCOCC as this definitive process progresses
- Create a clearly defined relationship with the college
- Other related issues
The ASCOCC Executive and General Council has also agreed to hire a consultant for Public Relations Training.”
At a meeting yesterday afternoon, members of Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College unanimously voted to hire Gregory Lynch, a lawyer who “regularly charges $295 an hour,” said Jay Abbott, a secretary at Miller Nash LLP, the law firm in which Lynch works.
“I have not heard of this happening at any other college; I have been doing this for 20 years,” said Mike Hiestand, a staff attorney for the Student Press Law Center. Heistand explained that this isn’t a normality in a community college.
A few of the reasons for hiring a lawyer include; solidifying authority to allocate student fees, to make sure ASCOCC cannot be dissolved, to understand their relationship with Central Oregon Community College.
A lawyer might also help prevent the turning over of documents that show how student government spends student fee money.
No public comment, or questions were allowed at the meeting. All questions were directed to Brenda Pierce, marketing and advertising coordinator, who will respond at a later time.
When asked about the total potential costs of the lawyer, ASCOCC members refused to comment directly. The amount ASCOCC is willing to spend, is on an “as needed basis,” said Terry Link, legislative coordinator of ASCOCC.
“Who is going to pay for this lawyer?” questioned Hiestand, “Are they using student fee money?”
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