Conflict erupts during funds request debate; Student senate approves $1,900

After an extensive debate and a surprising emotional outburst, Lane’s student government pledged $1,900 of of its budget to support the seventh annual Peace Symposium.

The symposium will be held April 25 and 26 in the Longhouse at Lane. The two day gathering will include guest speakers, workshops and performances.

Peace Center Steering Committee Chairman Stan Taylor brought a $3,000 funds request before the Associated Students of Lane Community College Senate during its April 2 meeting.

During the meeting, Taylor told members of the student government the Peace Symposium has had a good student turnout in the past, especially since it typically commences on a school day.

ASLCC Sustainability Coordinator Michael Weed said the Peace Symposium is a life-changing event that brings much-needed awareness to issues that affect students.

Lane’s Media Arts Department will broadcast the symposium’s events live over Livestream service. Taylor said he expects to reach at least 10,000 viewers by broadcasting the event online.

“In the past, we’ve had up to 8,000 people at the event via live-stream,” Taylor said.

Co-sponsors of the event plan to coordinate their own social media networks to broadcast the event to approximately 250,000 people, Taylor said.

ASLCC Senator Emily Aguilera told her peers they should support the event, because the Peace Center publicly supported the student push for “cultural competency.”

The college’s Board of Education passed a policy this year that requires all Lane employees to complete some form of diversity training, although the procedural details of that policy are still determined by the Diversity Council.

Approving such a large request, however, proved to be controversial for some student leaders.

“Granting the full $3,000 would be fiscally unsound,” ASLCC Treasurer Zach Wais said.

Delansky advised student leaders to not get bogged down in whether a deficit would roll into next year.

“You do have access from other funds like the Snack Shack, which I think has a balance at this point that’s pretty healthy,” Delansky said. “You could maybe see if you could co-sponsor, let’s say, with Student Life.”

The Snack Shack is a student-run kiosk upstairs in Building 1 that sells snacks and beverages to supplement the ASLCC budget.

According to Delansky, Student Life and Leadership Development could also contribute “about a thousand” dollars to the Peace Symposium.

Recently, business at the Snack Shack has been going well enough for the Senate to approve the full $3,000 without causing a deficit in the ASLCC budget, according to Jennifer McCarrick, the student government’s resource center director.

McCarrick manages the Snack Shack, and encouraged her peers to support the event.

“Let’s get this paid off. We have the money in the Snack Shack, so I’m doing an ask,” McCarrick said. “If not for us, then for the other students, our kids.”

The Snack Shack is the student government’s only source of revenue besides the student activity fee, according to Wais.

ASLCC Senator Zack Wright said he agreed with McCarrick on how important the symposium is, and also encouraged student leaders to fund the event.

“Despite money problems, or possibilities of money problems, I still think we should help continue this,” Wright said. The Senate voted down the $3,000 funds request.

After the motion was voted down, McCarrick said the Snack Shack had enough money to fund the request, and again stressed the event’s relevance to students.

Wright said he was shocked by the Senate voting to not pass the funds request in full.

“Who cares about deficits, or whatever?” Wright said. “Money isn’t everything. This is so important.”

Wright proposed a motion to pass a funds request of $1,900 to aid the symposium. The motion passed.

Upon the passage of the $1,900 funds request, Senator Francisco “Kiko” Gomez, who voted against both motions, yelled an expletive and threw a pen across the room towards another senator.

The situation was pacified in seconds by Weed removing Gomez from the building and calming him down.

“OK,” Senate Speaker Rebekah Ellis said after Gomez’s removal. “Well, we still have quorum, so we’re moving on.”

Delansky told Taylor that Student Life and Leadership will fund the remaining $1,100.

Before Taylor left the meeting, ASLCC Senator Meg Geldart apologized to him for Gomez’s behavior.

Later in the meeting, a visibly calmer Gomez returned and apologized to his peers for his outburst.

“That will never again be allowed in Senate,” Gomez said.

Gomez delivered a formal apology during the April 9 ASLCC Senate meeting.

Lane’s Media Arts Department will broadcast the Peace Symposium live at between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. April 25 and 9 a.m. to 1 pm on April 26.