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SCG President James Torres signs the operating agreement

Raymond Baccari

Editor-in-Chief

After one year, three months and five days, it appears that Student Community Government and Rhode Island College’s stalemate over frozen spring 2022 funding is coming to an end. SCG President James Torres announced during last Wednesday’s parliament meeting he has signed the operating agreement between SCG and RIC, which was a stipulation the college had for this funding to be released.


“It feels great,” Torres said in a post-parliament meeting interview. “We’ve been trying to get this thing done forever. It went from the school, back to us, the lawyers were going back and forth forever. I’m ecstatic about it. A lot of the organizations were very mad at us because we didn’t have funding for the next semester, but now we’re going to have funding for them, hopefully, we’re just waiting for the president to sign on his end, and we’re good.”


As for a timeline when RIC President Dr. Jack Warner will sign this agreement, Torres said he is meeting with him this week. Torres added that he plans to have “a little ceremony at parliament to commemorate it.”


The Anchor asked Warner Thursday about his timeline for signing this agreement.


Warner said, “The sooner the better as far as I’m concerned, and I’ll make the time next week to get that signature done.”


The funding itself was first frozen in January 2022 when then-President of RIC, Frank Sánchez, cited the issue of SCG not meeting its own bylaws regarding quorum.


In this agreement, one of the main terms is reducing the number of members needed to meet quorum, which is having 50% of total membership, plus one, present at a meeting. Pre-agreement, SCG had a total of 54 potential members, which means they would need around 30 members present at every meeting to meet quorum requirements. The numbers post-agreement are a total of 30 potential members, making quorum 16.


Another term in this agreement is that employees of SCG would become employees of the college. This means that Joan Barden, who’s currently an administrative assistant for SCG, now becomes a RIC employee. Other parts of this agreement define the relationship between RIC and SCG, which Warner has said in the past he views as interdependent.


SCG will also need to change its bylaws, which outgoing-Speaker Thomas Fura said are “basically all done” during this parliament meeting.


The agreement itself will last for five years, and “shall automatically renew for subsequent five-year terms unless or until terminated.” Either party can terminate the agreement after giving a 90-day written notice.


The operating agreement can be seen in its entirety using this pdf file:

Collaboration Agreement 2023 April - SCG-RIC Final Agreement 423
.pdf
Download PDF • 149KB

Torres also gave every member of parliament a copy to read over before they vote on it in their next meeting. That meeting will also be sine die for SCG and their elections for the next Executive Board and officers of parliament.


The offices in SCG that are up for election are president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, speaker and deputy speaker.


The candidates for president of SCG are Matthew Jacques, the current secretary, and Torres, the incumbent.


There is only one declared candidate for SCG’s vice president position: Deputy Speaker Frank Castello. Current Vice President Asley Corrales received a new position to work in the Dean’s office for the School of Business, so she will not be seeking reelection.


Jacques is also on the ballot for secretary since parliament members can run for multiple positions and whatever first one they win is the one they serve in. Jacques also has an opponent for secretary in the event he loses versus Torres: Gianna Rose, who is an at-large representative.


Treasurer Fathi Obabiyi is running unopposed for her position.


The races for speaker and deputy speaker both have multiple declared candidates. The candidates for speaker include Castello, At-Large Representative Shihren Brower, At-Large Representative Jennifer Gonzalez and At-Large Representative Gianna DelMonico. Brower and Gonzalez are also running for deputy speaker, a position both were runner-ups for versus Castello in a recent special election.


Members of parliament who are not on the ballot still have the option to run as a write-in candidate on the spot. After the elections are over, the new E-Board and officers of parliament begin their one-year terms on June 1, which is expected to coincide with an induction ceremony.

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