Shreena Patel is no longer President of SCG. In SCG’s recent parliament meeting – a vote of no confidence was passed, removing Patel from her role as President. Reasons for her removal include not showing her leadership skills and communication skills as SCG faces their impending funding freeze.
“The E-Board and I have kind of discussed this at length, and unfortunately, under our incumbent President the duties of the organization aren’t being done. Obviously you guys are privy to what’s going on right now with the college and the letter where they are revoking our SAF funding,” says Vice President Matthew Thureson.
“So there’s a lot of work that needs to be done and communication with them to get that funding back. Unfortunately right now – there hasn’t been communication by the President in about six weeks. We need to get this done in time for next semester because we need to be able to fund organizations next semester. We’ve decided to do a vote of no confidence for the current President.”
Thureson will serve as President until the 2022-2023 E-Board elections on April 27, 2022. Patel is still in parliament, but cannot run for President again on April 27. However, she could run for President again at the end of next year.
Patel’s exit addressed one issue facing SCG – the ongoing situation regarding SCG’s funding is now a battle of interpretation versus interpretation. RIC President Sánchez believes that SCG is violating their by-laws regarding quorum.
“The by-laws state that membership consists of 56 representatives from different areas of the college. Quorum [consists of] 29 people of that membership. This is an important part of the by-laws because it ensures that the Parliament is representative of the student body. With current membership being approximately 10 people, that leaves approximately 6 people representing the interests of the student body, which does not responsibly represent our almost 6,000 students,” Sánchez told The Anchor.
SCG interprets their own by-laws regarding quorum as 50 percent plus one of the current membership. It isn’t only the current members of SCG. Several RIC Alumni showcased their discomfort following the news of Sánchez’s decision to revoke SCG’s funding.
“As someone who wrote large portions of the SCG By-Laws, something doesn't make sense here. Meeting quorum has nothing to do with how many total active members there are. If there's 6 members, for instance, a quorum is 4. If there's 60, a quorum is 31 minus leaves and abstentions,” RIC Alumnus Nick Lima (2011), wrote on Twitter.
Assuming Sánchez is correct – administration is not doing much to help SCG recruit more members to meet quorum. Members of the administration don’t come to the meetings. Darcy Dubois, the Dean of Students and Faculty Representative of SCG, has not appeared at a meeting for almost a whole academic year. Members of SCG don’t know what Dubois looks like. Sánchez hasn’t gone to a meeting in a long time either.
The blame is not solely on one person or organization. The culture on campus since COVID has drastically changed. Over 85% of the students commute to RIC. A majority of students don’t care to participate in student activities or organizations such as SCG, resulting in low membership numbers for the organization. Why? COVID_19.
COVID_19 changed the student’s participation on campus and awareness of current events. Some students aren’t aware that President Sánchez is leaving after this semester. Some students are stuck in pandemic mode where student activities become daunting or boring.
The conflict of who’s interpretation is correct could reach a breaking point. SCG has little time to solve their by-law problem. Their funding won’t be usable to give to organizations unless one change occurs: more students joining parliament.