Constitution changes in AS

Associated Students special election ballot initiatives have resulted in four changes to the constitution, including changes in requirements for potential AS presidential and vice presidential candidates.

"Every single thing passed, and they passed by huge margins, except for the [student representation fee]," said Yacob Zuriaw, director of student advocacy and financial support. "And even the fact that it wasn't pushed, it still managed to lose by a little amount. It was almost 50-50."

Zuriaw estimates that around 600 people came out to vote. According to the data, no initiative received higher than 550 votes.

The five new initiatives include giving the Inter-Club Council Communications officer the right to vote on the AS Board of Directors, creating a new position for director of student advocacy, and requiring that presidential and vice presidential candidates have leadership experience in AS.

"I think it's good because we have more accurate representation of the school,” said Jasmine Jafari, commissioner to the ICC communications officer and vice-chair of the elections committee, as well as the incoming ICC chair.

"I think this really ensures that the students really do have somebody good," said Michelle Olivarez, student trustee, about the new requirements for running.

"I think it does mean that the clubs will get more representation,” Jafari said. “There will be another person who is actually allowed to vote on behalf of all of our campus clubs."

Additionally, the director of sustainability can now serve as a voting member on the AS Finance Committee.

AS President Parker Jean noted his excitement about the passing of this initiative, saying that it will “ensure environmentally-conscious spending.”

The ballot initiatives were originally planned for inclusion in the representative elections, but there was a conflict between the time of release and the AS Constitution. AS rules state that any constitutional changes to be voted on need to be publicized at least two weeks in advance in The Corsair.

The initiative that received the most support, the establishment of a new director of student advocacy position, passed at 84.2 percent.

Since the student representative fee was a statewide initiative, it needed two-thirds, or 66 percent, of the vote in order to pass, and at least 1,700 votes total. It received 53.5 percent of the popular vote.

"There are a lot of community colleges that don't have it, but it's sad to say that our college doesn't have it, because we're so great," said Olivarez.

But it still goes to show that a majority voted in favor for the optional student representation fee.

"If left to their own devices, students want more representation; they wouldn't mind paying a little bit extra," said Zuriaw.

"All the little changes benefit SMC as a whole," Jafari said.