Dominating the discussion at the Wednesday, May 6 student government was a topic not on the agenda. Comments and complaints were expressed regarding several incidents racism on main campus.
Lane student Rudwan Dawod said that Student Resource Center Director Brittney Healy was racist toward him. “She’s claiming I was threatening her, and I wanted her to prove that,” he said. “I was very offended.” Healy was not present at the meeting to give a response.
The next speaker, Lane student Johanis Tadeo, said that he had spoken to student government previously on this subject. “This is a serious issue for students of color out here,” he said. “Being called threatening, being profiled, being seen as these types of criminals.”
He said that student government should be culturally aware, adding that problems continue to happen even though students pay thousands of dollars to the college.
Tadeo said that students are disrespected, profiled and called criminals, adding that the current student government staff spread rumors about those in question. “The student government … is not speaking for the students and not helping the students … there’s a problem … wake up and stand for us,” he said.
Both speakers were informed that their statements would be included in the minutes and posted online.
Multicultural Program Coordinator Manuel Mejia said “students of color are complaining about this.” Senator Charles Stewart asked that the formation of a committee to deal with discrimination be put on the agenda for next week’s meeting.
Tadeo spoke again, saying that students have been systematically pushed out. “This really does hurt students and it destroys students,” he said. Some students have dropped out because of it, he added.
Campus Community Director Mariana Paredones recommended that the issue be taken to the Board of Education, who are “not a very diverse group of people,” she said. “They’re not very aware of student life because they’re not students.”
“This is a serious issue and no one is taking action,” Paredones said. “A lot of people just get apologies over and over again.”
Several speakers named Public Safety officers as discriminating against students of color.
Business from the agenda included the second reading for a funds request to pay for meals and travel to the upcoming Oregon Student Equal Rights Alliance Symposium at Linn-Benton Community College. Senators approved the request 3-0-1.
Elections committee chair Robert Schumacher explained election rules prohibiting candidates or campaigners from providing voting venues at their campaign tables or via devices under their control. The purpose is to prevent undue influence on voters by candidates or their staff.
Without mentioning specifics, Schumacher announced that certain actions by both presidential slates were very alarming to the Elections Committee. “We are asking all candidates and members of campaigns to cease the unethical and unprofessional actions … that have been going on and make sure that we have a clean, honest campaign,” he said.
If a member of the Elections Committee witnesses a campaign violation, the violator’s candidacy can be immediately invalidated, Schumacher said. He suggested a group forum for presidential candidates where students could pose questions for discussion.
Sustainability Coordinator Daniel Pollock asked for volunteers to staff the trash audit scheduled for Thursday, May 14 from noon to 5:00 p.m.
President Malisa Ratthasing nominated Senator James Wessgert for ASLCC Treasurer. Wessgert spoke about his qualifications, and he was approved 4-0-1 after a short discussion.