Editorial: Is the ASBG looking after our interests?

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The Associated Student Body Government (ASBG) have been faced with a flurry of problems in the recent semesters stemming from a revolving door of elected members, a need for special elections and general frustrations with administration.

The problems, though, came to a head when the ASBG members were blindsided by the news that control of the weekly flea market – a campus mainstay since 1981 – was to be taken over by the Delta College Foundation.

Michael Kerns, the college’s vice-president of student services, made the announcement during a special ASBG meeting on Aug. 17.

There had been zero mention of a possible take over to the ASBG beforehand.

As outsiders looking in, we can see how this decision seems to be impulsive.

Though in this instance, the decision to take control of the flea market is not one that should be judged by its sudden nature.

We understand the ASBG would be upset at losing $500,000 of funding, especially after so many years of effort put into maintaining the flea market.

But we also believe, as does the administration, the flea market has simply outgrown what the ASBG can be reasonably expected to handle.

The transient nature of the ASBG does not allow for a venture such as the flea market to run effectively, particularly when every board has a different idea on how the money earned should be spent.

ASBG President Nicholas Aguirre has sent numerous campus-wide emails imploring professors and staff to see the board’s side. Aguirre wrote in one that ASBG did not hire the flea market coordinator, the latest of whom plead guilty to theft this summer for stealing $20,000 from the market.

We would argue that ASBG is not handling its own finances well.

Members have already paid for a camping trip, as well as a three-day weekend in Santa Cruz with money earned from the flea market.

Some of the members who went are no longer even part of the board.

We ask, is that the best use of money directed for student use?

Aguirre also told a Collegian staff member the group spent $6,000 on a welcome back barbecue that turned into an anti-administration protest.

We again ask, was that necessary?

Surely, Kerns and President Jeff Marsee and other school personnel involved in this decision should have discussed it with the ASBG.

This is only one of many glaring problems going on with this campus, though.

Priorities are out of whack here.

The school is worried about how the flea market is running as opposed to working to make counseling more accessible and put cancelled classes back into the schedule, among other things.

The current ASBG board is more worried about maintaining control of the flea market instead of seeing what can be done to truly benefit the student populace with the money they have.

A comment from “rickr0ll”on deltacollegian.net phrased our concerns best: “ASBG should be rallying students to do more than protect the interests of the ASBG.”

We understand ASBG is now pursuing legal action. We know this because Aguirre forwarded emails between he and Kerns regarding having a lawyer funded using the remaining money in the ASBG account.

We think, perhaps, ASBG should rethink its focus.

  • r1ckr0ll

    I approve of this message. 😛

    No seriously though. This is spot on. And about time.

  • Chris

    There have been many times in the past few semesters where I look at the exorbitant amount of money spent by ASBG on “retreats” and “trips” and am simply stunned by the unequal distribution of money that is supposed to be used for students. Do I think Delta is going to utilize it any better though? Probably not.
    I think both parties need to be focusing on how to better serve students needs instead of serving themselves. Though that is asking a lot of Delta and ASBG given their track records with spending money.

  • jcat7

    Actually, the ASBG should focus more on their office hours and their way of organisation rather then wasting time and money on useless matters. Oh but wait can we even suggest to actually try to change anything in these offices? I just think it will fall on deaf ears. Then again someone needs to actually be in the office at the “open” times.
    I don’t think the students concerns are their real priority and if it really is than I see no real proof of it.

  • Arthur D. Barrows Jr.

    When I attended SJDC many years ago the student government was divided into the Day Student Association and The Evening Student Association. The two bodies governed independently of each other. As I Remember the Evening Student Association (ESA) ran the flea market. The Day Student Association handled Student Club affairs and the issuance of student identification. At the time I was involved with the School Newspaper then called “The Impact.” I started as a reporter and worked my way to Editor In Chief during the Fall 1992 semester. I explored and reported on student government quite often. It was commonly understood that the Evening Student Association was much more mature and competent than their Day Student Association counterparts. After my time at SJDC came to an end a gentleman named Purn Howard was elected Day Student Association President. Mr. Howard proceeded to merge the two governing bodies into one. I believe this was a very bad idea. President Howard and the elected students of his time fixed something that was not broke. On a side note Mr. Howard was found to have pillaged funds and property from the school during his terms in office. You can confirm this fact by checking your own and The Record’s archives. I believe it is a sad state of affairs that would prompt The Administration to assume control of such a long held student institution. My wife and I often attend The Delta Flea Market. I am filled with memories of earlier days when I go there. I encourage all of you to find a way to maintain student control of the enterprise. When Administrators assume control of revenue, they often get raises. On a lighter note: I’m not crazy about the name change of the student paper. Collegian just does not have the same smack factor as The Impact. Great editorial and my compliments to your staff.