SCG held their final meeting for the semester on Wednesday April 27. The meeting was primarily focused on electing the Executive Board for next year and providing an update on their funding situation.
This election saw all the incumbent officers get easily re-elected and gives SCG a full E-Board heading into Fall 2022.
President Matthew Thureson was elected to a full one-year term that starts on June 1, 2022. Thureson was originally Vice President, but ascended to the position after parliament invoked a no confidence vote for then-President Shreena Patel.
For the election of Vice President, Speaker Asley Corrales ran unopposed and won a majority of the votes.
In the Secretary election, Christal Figuereo ran against a write-in candidate – at-large Parliament Representative Matthew Jacques. Jacques is one of several new members in SCG following the organization’s increased recruiting efforts. Figuereo was re-elected seven votes to one. The same results occurred for the Treasurer election. Treasurer Fathi Obabiyi won with seven votes to Jacques’ one vote.
At-large Representative James Torres won via a write-in candidacy versus Jacques for the newly-vacated Speaker position. Torres was originally running for President, but at the start of the meeting withdrew his candidacy.
The election for Deputy Speaker saw at-large Representative Thomas Fura win six votes to two against Jacques.
The E-Board weren’t the only positions that needed to be filled. Alumni Representative Josh Percy is no longer eligible to serve in the position per SCG’s bylaws. It remains to be seen who will succeed Percy.
Alumnus Nick Lima was nominated, but is also ineligible to serve for similar reasons since he served twice and graduated more than three years ago. Thureson nominated Dr. Valerie Endress for Faculty Representative. It should be noted that nominees for Alumni and Faculty Representative aren’t required to accept the job.
Aside from the elections, an update on SCG’s funding situation was explained. One of the main reasons according to President Frank Sánchez is SCG doesn't meet their bylaws regarding quorum. Sánchez insists that SCG needs 29 members out of a potential 56 seats. One of SCG’s options is to recruit and meet the unprecedented number provided to them.
The college is meeting with SCG to come up with ways to increase their membership.
“We just had a meeting with the college today to work on other recruitment options. So we’re thinking of working into the pipeline [that] all stipend receiving student organizations would have to send at least one representative to parliament,” Thureson said.
Another idea being floated by SCG is to remove the 35 signatures required for students hoping to join the organization. Changing the definition of quorum in the bylaws are on the radar too. This would end the battle of interpretation versus interpretation.
“We need to redefine the definition of quorum in our bylaws because right now it states that quorum is total membership minus leaves and absences divided by two, plus one. We do need to change that because membership is 56 people and never not once has SCG had 56 people [in] its [parliament]. So what it should say is [the] total currently held seats in parliament divided by two, plus one,” Thureson explained.
He added that Dean of Students Darcy Dubois plans to start attending meetings next semester. The Associate Dean of Students, Pegah Rahmanian, recently started attending meetings too.
SCG plans to meet with Dr. Jack Warner, introduce themselves and explain what the students want, when he starts as Interim President of RIC in July. A meeting with Sánchez is scheduled for this week to truly talk about funding’s status. Thureson sounded optimistic about how things look moving forward.
He said, “I feel very very confident about the future. And the college definitely expressed that they’re willing to work with us and they’re willing to help.”
Thureson indicated that SCG will have time in the Summer to recruit more members and turn things around for the Fall.