Student Community Government is back in session
Raymond Baccari and Daniel Costa
News Editor and Assistant News Editor
On Wednesday, September 15, Rhode Island College’s Student Community Government (SCG) held its first in person meeting since February 2020. These meetings were being held remotely in between that time and now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For reference, SCG operates under Robert’s Rules of Order and Parliamentary Procedure. The meeting had started off with a pledge of allegiance followed by a moment of silence. After that, a roll call was taken. Representatives Asely Corrales, Daisy Tran, Caleb O’Blenis and Dr. Darek Niklas didn’t attend the meeting. The approval of the agenda followed. Open forum typically occurs after, however there were no speakers for it in this meeting.
SCG President David Blais started the officers’ announcements with enthusiasm and optimism which was the overall atmosphere throughout the meeting. Blais said, “It was amazing to be back here in person.” He continued, “This room will be filled with students wanting to make a difference.” He hopes to have more students coming to the meetings and also says that all COVID guidelines would be followed.
Afterward, it was pointed out that the declaration period for the SCG elections begins on the 27th of September and the Executive Board elections will be on October 13th. In between those dates, there will be a parliament meeting on Wednesday, September 22nd at 7 p.m. and a finance commission meeting earlier that day at 12 p.m.
Secretary Brynn Terry pointed to several constitutional amendment proposals, with examples including the addition of gender neutral terminology and pronouns for media organizations such as WXIN and Anchor TV. These organizations also wish to make other changes to their constitutions. Furthermore, Blais stated that graduate students would now be allowed to enter the ranks of the SCG. Terry also noted the need for continued compliance with the mask policy the college currently has in place.
Several positions in the SCG were filled, renewed and some made open for enrollment as well. Alex Ortiz was also elected unanimously to both the Election Commission and the Finance Commission. It was also noted that the finance commission is looking for members. They are in charge of funding for organizations and also decide what occurs during the President’s Treasurers meeting and are in charge of any other submissions to the finance commission. Kennedy Heal was elected to the Student Organization Committee unanimously.
Blais then revealed his summer report to the council. The summer report addressed a number of issues including:
Decrease in the number of staff due to other employment opportunities and some staff citing a concern for their health and safety. Fifteen interim positions are yet to be filled.
The addition of an SCG Information Center located in the Donovan Dining Center.
The General Fund of the SCG sits at $432,510.82. Blais noted that this was more than the SCG had anticipated due to declining enrollment rates, however the SCG General Fund was actually able to increase their funds, according to Blais. This was due to other organizations, which heavily relied on their presence on campus, being shut out by the College’s online semesters.
The College’s COVID-19 guidelines for the fall semester are still subject to change as well, but nothing is confirmed yet.
Terry brought attention to an issue regarding RIC’s online Medicat portal. Medicat was deleting a number of students' vaccination and COVID test result uploads. Treasurer Patrick Gibb added that Health Services can help resolve this issue for students.
Afterward, Kas Decarvalo’s term as SCG lawyer was renewed. Then Arthur Patrie, who runs the Donovan Dining Center and is the Advisor of SCG, had his term renewed as well.
A vote to determine Joshua Percy, who was a previous SCG President, as the Alumni Representative followed. Suzy Alba, who was the last Alumni Representative and is Smithfield’s Town Council President, didn’t respond to emails to continue being Alumni Representative.
Staff updates and Remarks occurred after. The Dean of Students, Darcy Dubois, wasn’t present. Patrie hopes to see some more activities happening on campus in general. He wants to make the Donovan Dining Center as a place where people can feel welcome, hang out, etc. He adds that the Donovan Dining Center is willing to advertise for any club and organization and is looking to help anyone on campus.
Before adjournment, the members had a chance to bring up any issues to the parliament’s attention. Blais brought up that the ballroom will soon be cleared of any classroom materials and objects so no more classes will be held there. Clubs and organizations were being robbed of their abilities to use this area and didn’t get prior knowledge that classes were being held there.
The meeting was adjourned after this in a unanimous vote.