Raymond Baccari & Mel Rising Dawn Cordeiro
Editor-in-Chief & Managing Editor
Student Community Government’s frozen spring 2022 funding has officially been released. The funding became available again after Rhode Island College President Dr. Jack Warner and SCG President James Torres met on May 2 to sign an operating agreement. Joining Warner and Torres were other members of SCG’s Executive Board: Vice President Asley Corrales, Secretary Matthew Jacques, Deputy Speaker Frank Castello and Treasurer Fathia Obabiyi.
This five-year, renewable agreement does multiple things such as define RIC and SCG’s relationship, which one party saw as independent while the other saw as interdependent, makes SCG’s non-student employees RIC employees and reduces the number of members needed to meet quorum.
This funding, which funds all student organizations on campus, was first frozen in January 2022 by then-RIC President Frank Sánchez since SCG weren’t in compliance with their bylaws regarding quorum. During that time period, SCG had only five members alongside their Executive Board. The numbers required to meet quorum was 28, which is half plus one of what was at the time, a total of 54 potential parliament seats.
This agreement, which acknowledges the pandemic as an “unforeseen and unavoidable circumstance,” allows SCG’s total membership to be temporarily reduced to 30, making quorum 16 members present. Currently, SCG’s membership is in the mid 20s, making it very possible for them to meet quorum with ease moving forward.
Should either RIC or SCG decide to terminate this contract, for any reason, they may do so. However, a written notice is required at least 90 days in advance. Discussing termination, when asked what happens if either side wants to pull out, Warner simply said, “We are not backing out.” If there were a disagreement, both parties would meet again to discuss their concerns. Otherwise, this contract will automatically renew every five years.
Throughout the one year, three months and five days of back and forth negotiations between RIC and SCG, student organizations took a hit. During this past budget requesting process, all student organizations saw a budget cut compared to last year’s budgets.
Organizations who saw cuts in their budget are urged to request more funding as soon as the fall semester begins. Future budget cycles could potentially see cuts if RIC’s enrollment continues to decline.
Now with a new relationship moving forward, both parties’ next challenge ahead is continuing to bring back student life to pre-COVID levels and preventing future enrollment decreases.