On April 19, the student government senate attempted an unsanctioned ruling to suspend the bylaws of their government in order for what officials claim would allow more people to qualify and run for elected offices. This attempt has led many to allege favoritism in the senate, and question their confidence in the Associated Students of LCC to act as a dignified bipartisan system.
The ruling to suspend the bylaws occurred during an emergency senate meeting for which little-to-no notice was given, and the decision has stirred up conflicting opinions ever since.
One of the students attempting to run for president — Mariana Paredones — has a GPA of 2.46, which conflicts with the bylaws’ requirement of a minimum 2.5 GPA. However, she disagreed with the requirements.
“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 [Lane],” Paredones said during the emergency session where the bylaws were suspended.
However, not all members of ASLCC were onboard with the idea of suspending the bylaws. Some claim that favoritism is at play due to Paredones’ past service with the senate.
The madness behind the emergency senate meeting and the connection between Paredones and her friends at the senate are highly suspicious, but do not prove anything.
Shawn Goddard, ASLCC Multicultural Program coordinator, did not see the logic behind abandoning the bylaws and spoke out at the emergency meeting.
“I don’t see how we can abandon the bylaws without abusing the power in our positions,” Goddard said.
Favoritism and ethical issues aside, justice in the system has prevailed. On April 30, just 11 days after the initial decision by the ASLCC to suspend the bylaws, Lane and ASLCC lawyers ruled the decision of the senate to be null and void — collapsing what appeared to be an unjust abuse of governmental power.
As a result of this decision, the Election Committee has decided to extend campaigning to the candidates that previously had met the deadlines and requirements for applications. They are are allowed to continue campaigning until May 12 with voting occurring May 10-12.
It should not be overlooked the our student government attempted to eradicate a piece of binding legislation that serves a purpose — to hold this institution at a higher standard. Rejecting the bylaws just because it does not fit the current needs of the institution is shortsighted and selfish — not to mention irresponsible.
The bylaws are a necessary extension of the ASLCC constitution that help provide rules and regulations that student government needs in order to survive and thrive.
Yet by attempting to suspend the bylaws in a process that gave little voice to the democratic body it supposedly serves, the student government has fanned the flame of disbelief of government caring about its constituents.
Although this act by the senate has been made null and void by lawyers, it displays a lack of responsibility by our student government to adhere to the proper rules and regulations set forth by their predecessors.
With many offices open for election, it is the perfect time to seek a change in the government that seems needed. Students running for office will have the potential to change ASLCC into a functioning and transparent government — one that will not make hasty irrational decisions. We need a student government that works for the students. Though applications for candidacy are no longer being accepted, students can still write in anyone who is eligible. Vote wisely.