The student government meeting opened on a somber note. “Rose” Mike, a homeless member of the LCC community, who sold roses at the exit ramp of Interstate 5 passed away over the weekend. Michael Briggs succumbed to cancer over the weekend according to President Michael Weed. Briggs’ story was the subject of a 2013 short documentary film called “Flux Stories: Roadside Roses.”
Senators got back to business by discussing the Oregon Student Association’s secession from the United States Student Association. Student representative Max Pritchett submitted a letter about his experience at a USSA conference in Washington D.C. Pritchett said that he felt “cheated” out of an enriching experience due to a lack of organization and a “party” atmosphere. Even though there was quorum, senators could not vote on this issue, nor any other matter, because they did not release their agenda 24 hours prior to the meeting, in accordance with Oregon’s open meeting law.
Trevor Moore, Gender and Sexuality Alliance Treasurer, spoke to student government regarding LCC’s stance on measure 91, which passed in Tuesday’s election, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Moore said that he and fellow senators would be meeting with Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorensen to see if marijuana tax money could be earmarked for LCC. Moore explained that state marijuana tax money will fund K-12 education but community colleges may not see any of it. “No matter what your stance on the issue, exploring additional resources for our school is a win-win situation,” Weed said. An emergency senate meeting may be called for Monday to officially take a vote on the issue.
Student autonomy was addressed next. Members of LCC’s administration have taken notice of the fledgling SoJust unions’ need for a better place to meet. Even though Building 1 was originally set aside for a student union, Weed said they are looking at space in the Center Building. He also added that this issue reveals a growing need at LCC for a student union building. Multicultural Program Coordinator Manuel Mejia reported that the SoJust unions do not want to give up their space in Building 1.