Written by: Yvette Alvarez
Big changes are on their way to Riverside City College. The Associated Students of Riverside City College voted to make changes to the existing constitution at their senate meeting on Oct. 8.
Several changes have been made to the constitution, but they mainly affect senators on the board. A bylaw which redefines what an absence means for those on the board was recently passed. According to the ASRCC constitution, student senators must be “actively involved … having attended a minimum of two events and two meetings.” If an officer fails to do so they may be up for removal from the senate body.
“The student senators, me and another, are taking a chemistry class and it lands on both the committee and senate meeting times so it’s hard, it’s like we have to choose between getting an education and participating in the senate,” ASRCC Sen. Aaron Moran said.
Being the only senator to vote ‘no’ to the constitution as a whole, Sen. Moran expressed his concerns on the new changes that will take affect. “I was the only senator to vote no, because some of the other senators are new and they haven’t read the constitution yet, so they didn’t really get a chance to review it,” Sen. Moran said. “I also wanted to change some of the bylaws in there because I thought they were unfair.” One of the bylaws that Sen. Moran contested to was the amount of meetings senators have to attend.
Another change made to the constitution was for impeachment trials of senator and executive cabinet officers. Originally, when an officer is going through an impeachment, they would be trialed by a jury of students, but now that has changed to being trialed by senators.
Other topics that were discussed about in the meeting are that students are now able to get two free student identification cards per semester. If both cards have been issued, students can wait until the beginning of the next semester or pay a $5 fee for a new card.
The transcript office will also be experiencing some new changes. They will soon be going electronic with their paperwork and will send out an email to RCC students with more information.
As of this semester, there are a total of 11 senators on the board, nine of which are new. “It’s interesting, it’s a lot of work, but it’s going well,” ASRCC Sen. Patrick Pelayo said. “There’s a lot to learn, a lot to get started on, it’s been going very well though, a lot of responsibility and I’ve never done anything like this before, (but) I’m doing the best I can.”
Now that senate has approved the constitution by majority vote, what happens now is students have to vote to ratify its changes.
“Students have a lot more power than they think they do and … I just want to empower the students and encourage them to be part of their government because not everything is black and white,” Sen. Aaron Moran said.
Several other issues were addressed at the meeting, most of which were regarding the environment. The Student Sustainability Collective are pretty ambitious this year, according to Sen. Moran they are trying to pass a bylaw to ban water bottles from being sold at RCC. Instead, Student Sustainability Collective want to encourage students to bring their own hard bottles to school. Student senate is also trying to push RCC into becoming carbon neutral and is currently trying to collect and calculate RCC’s carbon use.