A few weeks into the spring semester has seen the collapse of the creationist Christian majority on the student senate of American River College in Sacramento. My friend and former student “Steve” is a faculty member at ARC, where he has a front-row seat for all the excitement. Despite the stealth campaign that brought a coalition of extremely conservative Slavic Christians into power with a bare majority of the college student senate (for which see my earlier post) , the new rightist bloc has been unable to consolidate its hold on student government. As reported in The Current, ARC's student newspaper, three of the Christian senators were devoured by the lions of academic standards:
Three seats remain vacant after the Student Association elections in late November. Certified results show three of the 10 candidates elected were disqualified.Are you surprised? The student activists were too busy with nonacademic pursuits to maintain their eligibility for extracurricular functions like student government.
Elected representatives must maintain a 2.0 GPA and take five units per semester in order to hold a position on the 18-member student council.... The three representatives disqualified were Yeisey Shenrya, Dennis Choban and Joshua Serban.
I noticed that Choban was the fellow quoted in last year's post-election issue of The Current as saying that he and his allies from ARC's Christian Civilization Club looked forward to “removing humanistic bias from certain courses (such as evolution science).” That wasn't going to happen anyway, but now Choban won't even get to try.
The vacancies on the student senate will be filled by appointment by the student body president. Although the student senate must confirm the appointments, the president is not part of the creationist Christian bloc and is unlikely to restore their majority by his choices. The campaign for campus theocracy in Sacramento may not be over, but it has certain stalled for the time being.
No doubt my friend at ARC will keep an eye on further developments and I will certainly pass them along. A final tidbit, which came from within the ARC math department: One of the disqualified student senators earned his deficient GPA by flunking calculus last semester; he apparently missed class frequently because of “church work.” That might be ironic, no?