A.S. Board Members Provide Statements Over Board's Decision Against Funding Graduation Banquet

Following SMC students' reactions towards the Associated Students board's decision to vote against funding agenda item 6.3, the proposed $8,917.19 for catering SMC's graduation reception, A.S. President Jennifer Chen reached out to The Corsair to voice her disapproval over what occurred during the board meeting last Monday, April 23.

President Chen voted in support of funding the banquet, but the proposal still failed after a 6-6 split vote. Not only did the outcome of item 6.3 surprise Chen, but the lack of discussion between board members prior to voting left her very disappointed. “[If] we have a problem with questions [about] the proposal, someone usually [says] something regarding the funding… but it's [had] no discussion whatsoever at this case.” Chen said. “What happened on Monday is really irresponsible, to deny [the] proposal; we['re] not getting any explanation and no discussion and we are representing 30,000 students.”

Jorge Sandoval, A.S. vice president, voted to pass item 6.3 during the finance committee meeting, but then voted against the proposal during the A.S. board meeting five days later. But he said he does believe there should have been a discussion among the board members, regardless on how they voted, “I do not regret voting nay on that proposal," Sandoval said. "I regret not speaking about it, but I knew why I was voting no. I informed myself and made the right decision.”

Regarding students who are upset that the A.S. board did not pass this proposal, Sandoval said, “I understand, I could totally see where they’re coming from. I’m a human being, I do make mistakes. I’m currently learning, I’m new to this board… And I also feel like us as a board could have said something.”

SMC student such as LeAnne Mariah Bogard also reached out to The Corsair to express anger on the proposal not being passed, “I was furious, I really was… And then when they turned around and voted themselves an end of the year celebration at Cheesecake Factory, I was even further furious.” Bogard said, “I think their voting no, voting down the proposal was not in the best interest of the student body they’re supposed to represent.”

According to Sandoval, the proposal at hand will be brought up at this Monday’s A.S. board meeting on April 30 at 3 p.m. President Chen said, "There is director’s opinion if they don't want to pass, if they don't think this is a good idea, it’s all up to directors. And they have the right to vote, but I, as a president, I just hope that there's explanation, there is discussion.”

Although it is unlikely that a revote will occur, some board members will explain why they voted the way they did, including Sandoval. “I didn’t vote because of anybody, I voted because I thought this was best for the students," Sandoval said.