ASCC Senate presented with legislation options

Perla Lara

After the ASCC Senate agenda was approved with a few key comments from the public forum, there came a declaration.

Theater major Isasc Simons-Araya asked senate to consider letting fill one of the vacant seats in the senate.

This announcement came as a surprise since many senators were not aware of the vacancies.

ASCC Vice President Ivan Oyarzabal clarified that there are four seats available due to the fact that three senators had three consecutive absences and one freshman senator resigned leaving two seats open for freshmen and two seats for upperclassmen.

Simons-Araya said, “I heard about the open seat from a friend, I wanted to have the LGBTQ community represented, it is a large community on campus that is not represented in the [ASCC] Senate. I feel that it’s important to have someone looking out.”

The meeting continued as STEM Committee Co-Chairs Alex Cervantes and Diana Silveyra presented senate their proposed legislation to receive $18,301.40 in funding to pay for more tutoring hours in the STEM departments.

According to their legislation, the increase in tutoring hours would result in “students performing better in their class and lower the dropout rates for these classes.”

However, the legislation was not passed by senate because the breakdown of the cost per hour per tutor was not presented in a concrete written form, also the fringe cost that would result from the adding of hours or tutors was not taken into consideration by Cervantes and Silveyra when coming up with the proposed amount of $18,301.40.

Dean of Student Services Dr. Gilbert Contreras offered to have one of his staff members help with the calculations of the fringe costs.

Another legislation that did not meet the ASCC Senate’s approval was the legislation for noise reduction in the library.

The senators did not agree with the language used in the legislation.

The sentence “the library is the heart of the campus” is rhetoric that ASCC Senators Luis Guzman and Gloria Sedano felt strongly about. Other senators felt the sentence should not be included in the legislation.

Sedano said, “We’d like for the district to take action […] what we are asking for is for the library to be modified to meet our needs, whether the district feels like it needs to build a different library or just accommodate the library that we have now […] we wish for there to be a separation of lounging areas and study areas so students don’t confuse the two […] Cerritos College is a small college, but we still have a large number of students, what we want is a bigger library.”

The last major discussion of the meeting was presented by Oyarzabal. He presented reasons why the mascot, Franco Falcon should have a wage increase.

The reasons being that Franco Falcon is doing things above what is required and stated in his job description such as being active in social media and the great job the student inside the mascot costume is doing is not reflected in the $9.93 per hour he is getting paid.

Oyarzabal also pointed out that senate has $1.2 million in its reserve budget that could be used to increase a $7,000 maximum yearly budget allocated to pay for Franco Falcon performances.

Sedano said, “I absolutely support an increase in pay for the school mascot not a lot of people are willing to do that job. It is a tedious job that requires a lot of physical labor, also he’s very active, very funny, very motivating […] we’re not compensating him for all the work that he does.”

On the Franco Falcon subject, Contreras said, “As a college we have to respond to what the minimum wage is for the state. I always support higher paying jobs for students, we need more jobs for students that pay a better rate so that they have time freed up to study and time with their family and time to be successful […] I can’t speak for all of the positions, but I like the tone senate has set talking about what the priorities are and how much they should be paying other students to fill these positions.”

In regards to the $1.2 million reserves, Contreras said, “You don’t want to save money for future students at the expense of the current students.”

Current students like Senators Alex Cervantes and Melissa Chavez who thanks to ASCC senate funding, attended the University of California Davis Pre-Medical Pre-Health Professions National Conference.

Cervantes and Chavez told senate that the $105 per person cost of admittance was well worth the experience and the knowledge they gained.

The use of the $1.2 million reserve budget and the future of the library and legislation for an increase of tutor hours will be in the hands of the ASCC senate, which as of Wednesday, Oct. 14 has four empty seats.