Debate continued over the potential benefits and ramifications of an Inter-Club Council (ICC) secession from the Associated Student Senate at Santa Rosa Junior College during an Oct. 15 ICC meeting.
Club representatives first briefly discussed the topic of ICC secession at the previous meeting on Oct. 1, when the council considered all of the information presented by Vice President of Organizations Virginia Kerr. The council formed an ICC Secession Ad Hoc Committee and tabled the proposal because the matter would likely be an ongoing discussion throughout the majority of the semester.
When the discussion of secession arose at the next meeting, President of the SRJC Student Senate and representative of the Atheists and Skeptics Club, Joshua Pinaula, shot out of his chair to present his ICC secession proposal. Pinaula said that with secession, ICC would have full control over its codes, bylaws and power to vote for its own chair and executive officers.
Pinaula feels it’s important for ICC council members to have the power to vote for their chair, which is also the Senate Vice President of Organizations. “This person effectively carries out the ICC’s provisions and acts as a liaison between the clubs and the student senate,” Pinaula said.
The current system calls for the general public to vote for the VP of organizations, which may be detrimental because most students are unaware of what the ICC chair really does.
In the spring 2014 semester, someone who had no prior knowledge of the inner-workings of the ICC and no affiliations with any club could potentially become the VP of organizations. “I think we should require that our chair be a part of a club,” Pinaula said. “The average person just doesn’t know what it’s like to be in a club.”
ICC gaining the power to represent its constituents through voting is a big concern, yet one of ICC’s greatest hindrances remains its funding. ICC currently receives $4,000 annually out of the $200,000 the Student Senate receives. When ICC was established, these funds reflected the 20 or so clubs on campus, yet now there are more than 60 clubs with the same level of funding.
To combat the lack of funds, Pinaula established an ICC trust fund comprised of leftover money from deactivated club accounts last year. While this trust fund was a victory for ICC, the chair and council remain hesitant to use it because it can’t be replenished.
Currently, 100 percent of the school’s parking pass revenue, which has doubled in the past year, goes to the SRJC district police department.
In the past, part of this revenue went to the student senate, and Pinaula wishes to draft a proposal to SRJC district police to request parking revenue be equally divided among the student senate and ICC, therefore allocating enough funds for ICC to stand on its own.
In addition to this proposal, Kerr and Pinaula are revising ICC code, which will become the council’s constitution in the event of secession. During their research to form this secession, Kerr and Pinaula combed through the student senate constitution and ICC bylaws and found some discrepancies within the constitution.
The major inconsistency found is that ICC is supposed to be a separate body under the Sonoma County Junior College District Board of Trustees, yet remains under student senate control.
Kerr and Pinaula addressed this issue within the policy resolution, along with other resolutions that would benefit ICC and its clubs.
Both Pinaula and Kerr are determined to make this secession happen so ICC can be a recognized, independent body to represent the large portion of SRJC students in clubs. “As a senator, this is my number one goal,” Kerr said.