Highly Involved Student, Ben Kolodny, to Host a Grievance Forum Against the AS

 Ben Kolodny, Vice President of the Small Government Club, an unoffical club on campus, step up to the podium in front of the Associated Students Board to discuss his concerns that were promted by the proposal to demalish a portion of the A.S. Computer Lab in order to create a Gender Equity Center on Monday, Nov, 27, 2017.

In the last several days Santa Monica College student, Ben Kolodny, who is head of the SMC Debate Team and Vice president of the unofficial Small Governments Club, has spent much of his time voicing his opinion to numerous members of SMC’s student body, including the Associated Students. Kolodny will also be holding an event tomorrow, on Thursday November 30, 2017, titled, “a forum to address grievances against the AS program”. This event will take place in the Liberal Arts building on SMC’s main campus in room 239 from 11:15 AM-12:30 PM. “We’re going to be voicing the concerns we’ve been voicing for the last week and the concerns… from the last few days.” He created this event entirely because of the AS Board’s decision to pass major action item number 3.7, for the approval for the construction and outfitting of Social Justice/ Gender Equity Center and Computer Lab, on Monday, November 27, 2017.


That AS meeting lasted three hours and twenty eight minutes, primarily spent on discussing item 7.3: whose budget of $500,000, would come from the Associated Student yearly budget of approximately one million dollars.


Prior to this meeting, Ben Kolodny, a current SMC student, created a petition to, “stand up against the associated students and their attempts to interfere with the functioning of the Cayton Center computer lab, which is still going to happen as I understand from Jennifer Chen,” according to Kolodny. The petition, which was available online and on paper, received 400 signatures within three days.


The people who were opposed to this policy disagreed with how this policy was handled. “I have no problem with an administrative policy to make a gender equity center… My only problem is the secrecy that this has been handled with and the cost to the AS, as well as the seeming corruption,” said SMC student Ben Kolodny. At 5:25 PM, the AS Board unanimously voted to pass Major Action Item 7.3.


The day after item 7.3 was passed is when Kolodny decided he was going to hold the event taking place on Thursday of this week. “We’re going to be voicing the concerns we’ve been voicing for the last week and the concerns… from the last few days.” This event was publicized on the unofficial SMC group page.


“At first, this was just a way for me to express the things that I was not allowed to express at the AS meeting, to really explain it and talk about my problems with the way things were being handled, but since then it seems to be growing into somewhere where we can all have a conversation and dialogue and talk about the future of SMC, the future of GEN-C. What I hope to get form this is a larger understanding by the attendees as to the problems and [an] increased interest by the student body in the way that this is being handled.”


The Corsair will be live streaming this event on Facebook at 11:15 AM.