After a controversial ASG election period last quarter, the newly-assigned members of Bellevue College’s student government have had some time to settle into their respective positions. However, while these members have worked eagerly to begin living up to their promises, there are two positions in the ASG still open. During an emergency meeting that was held last week, members of last year’s and this year’s ASG came to blows over who they were to hire as the new Assistant Director and Director of Legislative Affairs.
Both positions were not included in the election process last quarter and were intended to be filled through a hiring process.
Amanda Alva, last year’s ASG President, arranged for a screening committee to be part of this hiring process. However, once the committee had assembled and put forward recommendations, the suggestions were deemed biased. One of the recommendation names was Marcus Sweetser, last year’s Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs, who was recommended for the Director of Legislative Affairs position.
A second committee was assembled in accordance with the allegations that the first was non-partisan.
The second committee, once again, put forward recommendations for the open positions and, once again, Marcus Sweetser emerged as a suggestion. At this point, Alva held the emergency meeting on June 30, at which concerns were voiced about Sweetser’s non-transparency.
It was reported that Alva in particular was not satisfied with the behavior of Sweetser during his time as Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs last year. The former President specifically commented on Sweetser’s non-transparency in relation to filling in time cards.
During the emergency meeting, it was said that Joseph Root, this year’s ASG President, was eager to table the concerns put forward by Alva to be dealt with later by the current ASG. Burke Colquhoun was in agreement with this approach.
After a vote to table the matter ended with last year’s Board of Directors deadlocked, Alva gave the final say to vote down the option of tabling the issue.
The emergency meeting swiftly moved to its primary objective: whether or not to uphold the recommendations of the second screening committee. Again, the vote was tied, and it was down to Alva to sway the vote. She voted against upholding the screening committee, negating their recommendations.
An appeal is currently pending to question Alva and the old Board of Director’s decision, which is being dealt with by the Judicial Board.
Root said that the transition that has taken place between the old and new ASG has been tough since they have had to deal with filling the new Assistant Director and Director of Legislative Affairs positions. However, this year’s president said that while the situation is a setback, he has been “talking to the Judicial Board about [reaching a conclusion] judicially, but timely.”
Despite this minor setback, all new members of the ASG are doing their best to keep the promises they made during their campaign period.
Carolyn Dewitt has many plans to make campus a greener place. “Jean-Claude and I are trying to get light sensors [to see] how much light is in the room,” she said when talking about her dedication to cutting the unnecessary use of energy. Dewitt is also investigating what the Student Environmental Sustainability Fund is being used for, and whether the money can go towards more urgent green initiatives on campus. The Student Environmental Sustainability Fund gets its revenue from students, who pay $1.00 per class credit for up to 10 credits.
Another initiative that the ASG have is to bring a bank to the College campus. “I’m planning on bringing a financial institution on campus. We are more focused on BECU because they are willing to create a micro-lending program,” said Jean-Claude Kameni, Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Representative.
While there are still two positions in this year’s ASG to be filled, Root is confident that everything will be resolved soon, giving him time to work on his own initiatives.
“The biggest thing we want to improve on right away is to make the ASG more visible all throughout campus,” he said, “what I’d like to see is an ASG that you know.”