2 board members removed


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The ASU Board listens to Contra Costa Community College District Chancellor Fred Wood (right) as he responds to a question about political engagement at the ASU meeting in SA-107 yesterday.

By Michael Santone, Associate Editor

Failing to meet a quorum and the subsequent cancellation of the Feb. 7 Associated Student Union board meeting, has prompted disciplinary action and review of the current bylaws.

Since the beginning of the spring 2018 semester, the ASU has grappled with the lack of attendance by board members, which continued into the Feb. 14 meeting where the late arrival by Director of External Affairs Shesheryar Shah resurrected the meeting from quorum death.

After a brief discussion regarding attendance and removal processes, a motion was set forth by Director of Shared Governance Preston Akubuo-Onwuemeka to remove Treasurer Aireus Robinson and Senator Alfredo Gutierrez.

“I’m not on campus much, so I shouldn’t have a high position when I’m not here to listen to the campus voice,” Robinson said.

The motion was seconded by ASU President Alexander Walker-Griffin.

“It’s a choice to be a part of the ASU Board and attend meetings,” Walker-Griffin said. “This has caused a minor set back, slowed things down, but nothing too drastic.”

Along with the removal of Robinson and Gutierrez, Contra Costa College Student Life Coordinator Joel Nickelson-Shanks said at the Feb. 21 meeting that three board members vacated their positions.

They include Secretary Leilani Contreras, Director of Public Affairs Adeline Brien and Senator Mikaela Pollard.

“I’ve seen this happen before,” Nickelson-Shanks said. “Because we have people on the board not participating something has to be done to keep this from continuing.”

Aside from the lack of quorum and cancellation of one meeting, setbacks have been minimal, Nickelson-Shanks said.

“We were definitely more organized at the start of the semester and a stronger presence by ASU is needed for students,” he said. “But this semester has not run as smoothly as they (ASU Board) would like.”

The ASU, which is responsible for representing the student body of both CCC and Middle College High School, aims to boost the student atmosphere through events and discussions that cater to the diverse makeup of the campus.

Along with sitting on various CCC committee boards, the ASU Board reviews petitions from on-campus clubs as well as departments who are looking for financial support.

“A lot of the board members are seniors and about to graduate from MCHS, so that played a big factor in attendance this semester,” Walker-Griffin said. “But more vacant seats are coming, so we need to beef up recruitment and get more people in ASU.”

The required quorum to hold a valid meeting is set at half of the total number of board members present plus one.

With the size of the ASU Board reduced from 16 members to 11, the required quorum for a valid meeting is seven.

“We need to have quorum every meeting,” Parliamentarian Jacqueline Ortiz said. “It didn’t happen twice in a row. We have pressing issues to discuss and decisions that have to be made.”

Ortiz said because of the recent attendance problems, a vote had to be made to remove board members.

“There’s a sense of responsibility when you are a part of ASU and if you can’t fulfill the duties you should resign,” she said. “If not, take responsibility and hold yourself accountable for what you signed up for.”

At the Feb. 21 board meeting a more in depth discussion was held on attendance and the removal process as all members were provided with a copy of the ASU Bylaws.

“The rules are very clear, but I  think it’s really bigger than the rules. It’s really about you guys making sure that it’s fair for everyone at the table,” Nickelson-Shanks said to the table of board members.

“It’s not just talking about this meeting but the committee meetings and all the other responsibilities that you have to go to,” he said. “So that means if you miss three of the budget committee meetings, for example, that your supposed to be on, technically you can get removed from ASU as well.”

Nickelson-Shanks said, “It’s more important how you guys follow the rules as well and hold each other accountable so that no one is above the rules.”

During the board meeting Vice President Esmeralda Topete said, “I think overall we all should read through these (ASU Bylaws) by next week and come to an agreement that we will begin to more closely follow the bylaws.”