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.