Final A.S. meeting for semester lasts record five hours for board
Lasting five hours and eight minutes, the Associated Students board met for their final meeting of the semester and school year to approve and deny petitions for funding for clubs, events, and their own activities. The meeting proved so long that during an hour long period, AS Director of Budget Management Hasun Khan took over chair duties from his brother, AS president, Ali Khan. Among the petitions which were turned down was for the archaeological class of professor Brandon Lewis which had petitioned for $25,000 in funds to cover the cost of the class' annual student trip to Belize. Funds were denied because the trip was not for competitive purposes, a prerequisite for funding out of state activities according to the body's fiscal policy.
A.S. Director of Student Advocacy TK Flory raised his hands and said "fine, half of the students won't be able to go on the trip, fine."
One of the items that was approved was $2,150 for the Inter-Club Council Social Tea Party Celebration organized by ICC Vice Chair Courtney King.
The board also turned down a proposal to raise the semester stipend of the incoming board of directors from the current $500 to $1,000. During the debate on the motion Dean of Student Life Sonali Bridges made it clear that there are board members who work long hours and others who do not.
Also struck down was a proposed $1,782 for a board trip to Disneyland. However $1,285 were approved for the A.S. board to attend a Dodgers game and a shuttle.
As the hours moved forward, the board found itself in civil debate over various other agenda items. One of the hotly debated items was item 7.13, the funding for the incoming board's summer retreat.
Though the item passed as written, the board was split on whether the current board could decide how the incoming board could spend the money.
On the chopping block was the hiring of a parliamentarian and the administration of a Myers Briggs Personality Inventory.
Both portions of the proposal caused amendments that forced a split vote of the voting board and each time the chair, Hasun Khan, to break the tie. Each time, Khan voted to keep the funding at $10,000.
However, the board did approve many of its own projects including $1,314 for the A.S. to purchase 30 cap and gowns for students in need and and $1,600 for funding "feed the students" events.
Also approved was the introduction of color printing and recycled paper to the Cayton Center Lab.
A.S. members will soon be able to print in color for 45 cents and 90 cents double sided, a direct counter to the library's 50 cents for color printing. The printers in the lounge will now use 30 percent recycled paper at the insistence of Director of Sustainability Andrea Gonzalez.
The Organic Learning Garden was also funded for the 2015-2016 fiscal year at the cost of $7,000.
The board approved $10,000 for international scholarships but struck down $10,000 for scholarships for incoming high school students.
The board continued their contract with the Marina Del Rey bicycle co-operative Bikerowave, allowing A.S. members to have free stand time and instruction from co-op members for $3,780.
The SMC Student Success Initiative summer program, "Summer Jams" received funding from the board. The SSI will receive $1,974.22 for food from In-n-Out and Campus Kitchen and $2,050.75 for gifts including backpacks, pens, and USB drives.
Towards the end of the meeting, Gonzalez voiced her disapproval of Bridges' sending each member of the board annotated versions of the agenda with her thoughts on how the board should vote.
"It made me feel like I couldn't make my own decisions," Gonzalez said. "It made me feel like you didn't trust us, as the finance committee, on what we had already voted on," said Gonzalez. "On behalf of Courtney too, we wasted four and a half hours in finance meetings to come to the board and fix everything we had already done."
As each director gave their final goodbyes and their share of advice to the incoming board, Hasun Khan even took it upon himself to advise the incoming board saying, "I do not recommend dating in the office."