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Observer

Student Life responds to criticisms, moves forward

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Jesus Martinez leads student Government meeting.

Jesus Martinez leads student Government meeting.

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lancelagoni

Jesus Martinez leads student Government meeting.

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According to multiple clubs and individuals, Student Life and Student Government have struggled with organization and procedures since the spring semester of 2016 when they lost their adviser, Katie Storey. In full disclosure, the Observer, who is a Student Life club and obligated to attend Student Government meetings, has also noticed a lack of cohesion. In response to this, the Observer interviewed several current and previous members of Student Life and Student Government.

The issues seem to have arisen after several full time staff individuals left the school. These individuals include Storey and Rodolfo Yanez.

In addition to that, no students eligible by the standards set in the Student Government constitution were running for executive positions in the spring of 2016.

Student at ECC and former Student Government Executive Vice President, Arturo Reyes, made several statements about the Student Government procedures to the Observer.

“What it turned into was me holding up [Student Government] up until the first four months of our union,” said Reyes.“I basically had to fill out the role of getting the clubs organized so that Student Life when they had the time were able to meet with the clubs individually and they had all the information I and the senators had gathered beforehand.”

Reyes also made some allegations that the Student Government constitution has been nullified, however, ECC disputes this claim.

According to the new Student Life Coordinator, Gaea Atta, the constitution was only suspended in the spring of 2016 and the suspension was followed properly and reinstated in November. The suspension was only suspended for the election of new Student Government officials.

“From my understanding, and reviewing the constitution they followed the procedures in order to make that available for the current student government e-board. When the positions were filled, is when student government made the motion to un-suspend the constitution and move forward,” Gaea said in an interview with the Observer.

Since Student Life and Student Government had not filled certain positions after several full-time workers left, much of the workload was intended to be shared among all of the other students and staff involved in the department.

Director of Orientation and Student Life, Amybeth Maurer admitted that there was a lot of organizational issues before they were able to fill available positions.

“[Students] had been given a lot of freedom by me since we didn’t have an adviser and they were making a lot of decisions. In the beginning [a student] had really good things, he was really trying to keep tab of what everyone was doing in the clubs,” Maurer said.

Once Atta started working her job last September, it was no longer the students’ responsibility to work with clubs besides their own.

Due to disagreements  within the department about individual duties, Reyes formally resigned from Student Government in the 2016 Fall semester.

Brenden McGlinn, a first year senator and a recently elected ICCB student trustee, also had some things to say about not only student life but Student Government as well.

“With regards to student government and off the topic, I believe that they do a very good job and the reason why is because if I did not know that then we would have people coming up with these concerns and ignoring them, I personally don’t see that. I’m only speaking when I’m in the cubicle,” McGlinn said.

McGlinn believes that one reason that this is getting better is because they have recently had new executives put into Student Government.

“Sure, I believe that the problem might have been the old executives, I think that the focus was not on Student Government. I believe they were only there for personal gain; they were only out there for themselves,” McGlinn said.

One member removed from Student Government for several reasons was the former vice president.

Two sources close to Student Life confirmed that during this time when there was less oversight over Student Government, funds were being misused. The Observer learned that the former vice president had spent what is estimated to be about $300-$400 on food over the summer.

“I think that we have to take some responsibility in Student Life for things being a little kookie and awkward and we’re making adjustments, you know, we’re transitioning into new staff and we’re not always going to get it right every time,” Maurer said.

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The student news site of Elgin Community College
Student Life responds to criticisms, moves forward