Ballot initiatives seek change in AS

Four Associated Students constitution amendment changes and one student representation fee initiative are on a ballot from the AS this week for students to vote on through Santa Monica College's Corsair Connect. Of the five, four involve changes to the AS constitution. They would include enabling the Inter-Club Council communication officer to vote on the AS board of directors, allowing the director of sustainability to serve on the AS finance committee, and requiring AS presidential and vice presidential candidates to have previous experience in AS.

"We needed to make this clear in the constitution," said Samantha Ross, AS Secretary. She said that members of the board sat in meetings every Friday "for hours," discussing these changes.

Another potential change is the elimination of the financial support title from the director position of student advocacy and financial support, creating a new position just for student advocacy.

The student representation fee is a statewide initiative that proposes instituting an optional $1 fee to be paid by students to "advocate more effectively for political activism and the finding of education," AS President Parker Jean said.

Jean said that since AS cannot use the money they receive to fund bills or political movements, the fee would allow for the sponsoring of education.

The recently proposed Assembly Bill 1350 seeks to double that non-mandatory contribution, but would instead send the money to the Student Senate of California Community Colleges, a student advocacy group for CCCs, and not to the AS.

"[The representative fee] gives us a greater political presence," said Yacob Zuriaw, director of student advocacy and financial support. "That's our job, to look over student affairs."

Zuriaw admitted that the election has been poorly publicized. "They dropped the ball with this election and the last," he said.

A glitch in the system when voting first opened on Monday left students unable to select 'yes' or 'no' on the online ballot.

Voting on ballot initiatives ends Thursday.