Initiative likely to fail

Past performance shapes idea of future success rate of plan

By The Advocate, Editorial Board

The Associated Students Union is preparing to launch its Grant for Support program for the third time. If history tells us anything, it is that the Grant for Support program is likely to be a failure.

The $5 student activity fee collected from every student at the beginning of each semester is funding the Grant for Support program.

Former ASU president Antone Agnitsch, who served for the 2014-15 year, said the program was abused by faculty members in order to fund their extra credit projects when he decided to cancel the program.

Under former ASU president Ysrael Condori, who served for the 2013-14 year, the ASU managed to create a $20,000 debt when it failed to turn in the proper paperwork necessary to even make its payments.

When the ASU accrued its $20,000 debt with the college, Business Services Supervisor Nick Dimitri said in the Oct. 1, 2014 issue of The Advocate, “I talked to Student Life and I talked to Dean (of Student Services Vicki) Ferguson, but it (ASU payment information) never came.”

The Grant for Support program has a history of being bogged down by a lack of training of the ASU, or even worse, a disconnect between the ASU Board and student needs.

This semester, the ASU plans to utilize $25,000 of the student money to fund its Grant for Support program. The ASU also plans to hold a workshop to educate itself on proper meeting procedure, but this means it is launching a program which is costing students $25,000 without proper training.

The ASU also has a history of having pathetically low student attendance at its meetings. With little communication between the board and the student body, it is arrogant to believe it could be representing student interests.

While the ASU is attempting to rectify the problems it have faced in the past, such as attempting to use social media to advertise, and limiting the amount people can receive with the grant, the Grant for Support is still likely to be a massive headache and another failure.

The combined storm of student apathy, lack of training and a history of improper oversight should signal to the student body that the student activity fee and the Grant for Support program are unfounded.

The Grant for Support has had some positive outcomes in the past. It was used to host an African drumming event during February 2014, it was used to rent buses for the football team and was even used to feed the homeless.

But despite the few instances where the student activity fee and the Grant for Support have been a benefit to students, it has had little effect in helping the majority of students on campus. Every semester the fee is collected, and brings very little to the students who fund the ASU with it.

The Advocate has taken the stance before that the student activity fee is a disservice to the student body at Contra Costa College, and if the ASU wished to show true leadership, it would take steps to abolish the $5 student activity fee.