Attendance Sparse at Third A.S. Meeting

Over the shoulder shot of Santa Monica College Associated Students President Jennifer Chen’s desk with gavel and notes during the Associated Students Board of Directors meeting in the Cayton Center Lounge on the Santa Monica College main campus in Santa Monica California, on Monday, February 26, 2018. ( Corsair Photo: Matthew Martin )

Over the shoulder shot of Santa Monica College Associated Students President Jennifer Chen’s desk with gavel and notes during the Associated Students Board of Directors meeting in the Cayton Center Lounge on the Santa Monica College main campus in Santa Monica California, on Monday, February 26, 2018. (Corsair Photo: Matthew Martin)

The atmosphere was sedate on the second floor of the Cayton Center as A.S. President Jennifer Chen dropped her gavel, calling the third A.S. Board meeting to session. With no salient action items to vote on or budgets to approve, this Monday's March 5 meeting was an ideal time for student activism and reflection on the role of A.S. in the Santa Monica College student community.

There were no action items on the agenda, so the meeting moved straight on to the Director and Committee reports. President Jennifer Chen commented on the serious lack of attendance at the meeting, with only eight out of the fifteen total board members present, meeting the bare minimum number of students to hold quorum. 

Contributing to the problem was the board lacking a vice president. Chen took this opportunity to remind all present that the private election for a new vice president will be taking place during the next meeting, on Monday, March 12.

Faculty adviser Dr. Nancy Grass opened discussion by remarking positively on the successful Beyond Gun Violence panel of the previous week, inviting students to take further action and continue the ongoing national discussion taking place around the role of firearms in the United States. Though nearly half the board was absent, all present agreed that SMC should contribute to that discussion by taking action in some way. However, opinions differed as to what course of action should be taken.

After some debate, Secretary Ryan Ang suggested a town-hall style forum on gun violence, in which students could state their opinions and address their concerns on the issue in an open and non-partisan environment. The date of the event has yet to be determined, but will likely be taking place this month.

After the board had reached a decision regarding the gun violence town hall, ICC Communications Officer Maritza Lopez pointed out the need for a follow-up and practical action, particularly relating to potential activism opportunities and student outreach. Pointing to clubs like the Black Collegians and Adelante clubs as being more effective and direct in their methods of community activism, she encouraged her fellow board members to follow the example set by these student-led organizations. 

Points brought up in the other committee reports were the recent reinstatement of color printing privileges for the publicity director, allowing A.S. to produce flyers and other promotional material for campus events, as well as bringing up the "expired" status of several of the filters on the bottle refilling stations around campus. ICC Communications Officer Lopez is currently investigating solutions to this issue, and will report on her efforts at the next meeting.