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Student Congress disbandment update

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The former members of the suspended Student Congress met to hear the reasons behind the disbandment Thursday.

The meeting began with a formal statement read by Eric Mullen, head of Student Life and Student Congress advisor. The statement, which is also posted on the Student Congress website, stated the reasons for the disbandment of the Student Congress executive board and described the organization’s next steps.

Official reasons for the disbandment of the organization are conflicts between executive board members, under involvement with the election process that led to current issues, and the ineffectiveness of using a four year student government model for a two year institution.

Following the explanation of what happened, Mullen outlined the hopes of the student organization.  Student Congress, with the help of the student community, is going to develop a new model that will respond to the needs of a community college. Expert members of the administration and other national organizations will be brought in to help with the transition.

Mullen stated that the group will still have meetings in order to get input from the general body members on where they feel the orginization should go.

Following the statement, the floor was opened for members of the student body to ask questions about the disbanded organization.  Many members of the group raised their concerns about what will happen within their own clubs.

“Club members will no longer be required to attend any meetings in order to keep any of their budget requirements,” said Mullen.

Jeffery Noel, former vice president of Student Congress, raised his concerns on why the executive board would still be compensated for their positions after the organization’s suspension. Mullen responded by saying that the student leadership positions held by the former executive board members will still receive their pay and will be held responsible for their duties to the organization.

“We don’t feel that it should just be Sara’s (Dorer) or my interest to guide this process in that capacity,” Mullen said.  “We feel that through the terms of the agreement we can hold the students in these roles accountable.”

Sara Dorer is slated to take Mullen’s position at Student Congress adviser after he moves to a new position this month.

Noel went on to ask who would be making the final decisions about where the organization will end up.  Mullen stated that they are not yet sure how the final decisions will be made, but that they would like to involve as much community input as could be given.

The next meeting for the suspended group is yet to be announced.

“Our intent is to be as transparent as possible,” Mullen said. ”One of our utmost goals is to create an organizational sturucture that responds to who we are as a community and to elevate the opportunity for students to have leadership positions.”

For a full recorded video of the meeting click here.

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