Student government temporarily suspended their bylaws Tuesday during an emergency senate meeting in order to allow more people to qualify and apply for next year’s elected offices.
The Election Committee for the Associated Students of Lane Community College has temporarily suspended all campaign and election related activity in order to consult a lawyer regarding the student senate’s actions. They expect to have more information by Monday, April 25.
The bylaws contain all the rules ASLCC is required to follow, including the necessary GPA and credit requirements for those applying for elected office. With the bylaws suspended, Lane students only need a 2.0 GPA and be taking six credits to run for a senate seat or on presidential ticket. Previously, a 2.5 GPA and a minimum of 18 credits within the past three terms were required.
“I don’t think a .04 GPA or not having done 18 credits in the last three terms discredits me, if I’ve completed 41 credits here at LCC,” Mariana Peradones said, who is planning on running for student government president. She currently has a 2.46 GPA, which would have prevented her from running for office without the suspension of the bylaws.
Once elected, officials need to maintain a 2.0 GPA, while those running for office in Spring Term will be required to have 2.5 GPA.
“The bottom line is that there is a lot of work to be done. If you’re already struggling GPA-wise, your focus should be education while you’re at Lane,” Bobby Kirkpatrick, ASLCC sustainability coordinator, said.
Kirkpatrick is currently running on a presidential ticket alongside Anastasia Vail, ASLCC communications director.
Other students spoke during the emergency senate meeting about how they did not know about the deadline in time to apply. Christina Walsh, ASLCC leadership director, stated that every student received several emails notifying them of the application deadline, along with lawn signs and posters across campus.
“I don’t know what else is reasonably expected,” Walsh said.
Members of the gallery expressed concern and cautioned the senate to consider the legal and ethical issues of suspending the bylaws.
Only three voting members — Button Will, Malia Hatch and Cristian Martines — of the six ASLCC Senate members were present. Vice President Maria Dresser chaired the meeting, but does not vote unless there is a tie. The senate voted unanimously to suspend the bylaws for Spring Term.
Mindy Parks, campus community director and chair of Elections Committee, informed the senate she would not act on the senate’s ruling until she personally spoke to the student government attorney.
“Calling an emergency meeting like this very much smacks of favoritism, and that is not what this body should stand for,” Parks said.
Update 4/21/2016: Added new information regarding the elections process. All elections activity has been suspended pending legal counsel.