Student government looks to expand

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Peter Monrroy, vice president of ASSC ()

The Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC) Governing Council is considering amending their application process in hopes of bringing more students to their current council of five.

As it stands now, any student interested in joining student council must, as part of their application, collect 50 signatures from Skyline students. With such an unusually small student council, some council members wondered if the 50 signatures requirement is what might be keeping some Skyline students from joining.

“Part of the reason [student council] wanted to review [the application process], is they wanted to make sure the application process wasn’t too daunting,” said Amory Cariadus, adviser to the ASSC.

Instead of requiring 50 signatures, one idea was to increase the number of meetings students must attend. Currently, students must attend one student council meeting before they are elected to student council. The council hasn’t decided on anything for sure just yet and there is still debate among council members as to whether the required signatures are really that hard to get.

“I don’t think it’s necessary,” said Peter Monrroy, vice president of ASSC, in regard to amending the 50 signatures. “It’s not that hard to get 50 signatures, you can take it to a class and get 50 signatures in five minutes.”

Taylor Angel, president of ASSC, said that he didn’t think that gathering 50 signatures was too challenging. However, if amending the application had a positive affect on the number of people who joined then he thinks it could be a good idea.

Another issue, according to Cariadus, is that maybe it isn’t hard to get the required signatures, but in the section where students must write down a concern or issue they have in regard to campus, a lot of students don’t put anything or they put something that they aren’t very serious about.

“One side of debate is that the purpose of getting the signatures is not being met when you get the signatures,” Cariadus said.

The council started off with seven members and, according to Cariadus, two members dropped out due to feeling pressure from other commitments. There are currently three vacant commissioner positions and 13 vacant senator positions. The commissioner of finance position, commissioner of public records, and commissioner of activities positions are all vacant. Only the president and vice president and commissioner of public records positions are filled.

“It is unusual. Usually by this time of year the numbers have gone up and they have usually had around 10 people,” Cariadus said.

“It’s kind of upsetting because you want to do things for the students and it’s kind of hard because we only have five people.” Monrroy said blaming a lack of student outreach as the most likely reason for the low number.

Charles Lee, the newest senator on the council said that he joined this semester because when he went to vote last spring the small amount of people on the ballot “spooked” him out. He thought that he should get involved the following semester because there weren’t enough people

Cariadus listed possible reasons for such a small council as pressure for students to get outside jobs that deplete their time. Another possible reason could be student apathy.

“Some people feel that the student body itself is somewhat apathetic so they’re just not interested,” Cariadus said.

Five is the minimum amount of students required to hold a student council. If one additional person dropped out, Cariadus said that in theory, they would have to hold a special election. Although Cariadus says that the circumstance would be different because usually special elections happen in the spring after an election that didn’t yield enough members. This would be a different circumstance because in this case the council would have more than the minimum number and then due to the unforeseen circumstances it would drop below the minimum number.

“So it would cause the student council to have to think differently on how to approach it because it’s a different set of circumstances and a different situation.”

Cariadus said that the student council should still remain effective in student representation at committee meetings, but that it will be more challenging.

Whether the 50 signatures is amended or not, the next semester brings new hope with the anticipation of new students,

“I think hopefully, the outreach will be there and students will be interested,” Cariadus said. “In the meantime we’ll just encourage the council to find more encouraging ways to let students know what they do on campus.”