Light up the Darkness

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May 29, 2014

Give this a thought. A student has an interest in a club on campus and is more than willing to take on a position of power that may give said student the responsibility of making pivotal decisions: like whether the club needs funding for trips, supplies, etc. A treasurer if you will.
That student fills out a request to student government so that access to the club’s account can be granted and takes out whatever money is needed.
Funding for clubs requires permission from the student body government to access those funds at Riverside City College. A vote is taken and the decision is made on whether the money is granted or not.
Now, what if that student becomes part of student government where they have a hand in deciding which clubs get funding?
Would it not be safe to assume that there would be a conflict of interest?
Requesting money for a club and then having a vote on whether that club should get the funds sounds a little …  well, sketchy at best.
Viewpoints does not have a written policy that prevents a student from any club to join the newspaper staff, however, it is strongly discouraged and that student would be limited to subjects they can cover to prevent a biased story.
The ASRCC constitution has measures to prevent the conflict of interest situation from taking place, but a source approached the editorial staff at Viewpoints and told us that there is a student who holds a paid position in a club on campus who is also vying for a position in student government.
The position in student government will allow him or her to have a vote in decisions regarding the distribution of money to club in which they are apart among others.
A person being paid by one club while having a vote in ASRCC on whether that club should get funding raises not only eyebrows, but serious questions as well.
Who is allowing this happen? What is the money being spent on? How could the situation be taken advantage of if it hasn’t been already?
And of course, are these members of ASRCC actually deciding issues that affect the students’ future for better or worse?
Or are all senators just there to lobby for the clubs they are apart of?
If that is the case, we might as well join ASRCC as well because there are some things we could use some extra money for, but of course we know better than to discredit ourselves seeing as how all we have is our reputation as student journalists.
We are not here to be a pest and make false accusations, but we are trying to make it clear as to what exactly the members who have a conflict of interest are actually interested in.
Besides, we were presented with this information willingly by a member of ASRCC who wanted these things to be looked into further.
We are just the messengers and we all know the saying about the messenger.
Maybe it is time for student government to take a look at themselves and figure out what they are trying to accomplish.
These questions and others were discussed among the highest-ranking editors at Viewpoints and it caused many of us to take a closer look as to what is really happening.
Although we are just scratching the surface, we are more than willing to see how far this rabbit hole takes us.

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