When last we left the bold Christian insurrectionists who seized the student government at American River College in Sacramento, the religious bloc had lost its majority on the student council because three of its members were deemed ineligible. As noted in my previous post, they had failed to maintain the necessary grade-point average or unit load required for qualification for student government.
As the inimitable Porlock Junior observed on that occasion: “Reactionary political activist Christianists can't maintain a C average! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!!!” That appears to be correct. What's more, they don't know Robert's Rules of Order and have nothing approaching the patience of Job. Almost all of them have resigned their posts and decamped in a snit. The new developments were reported in the February 20 edition of the ARC student newspaper, the American River Current:
SA members resign en masseI think we can safely conclude that candidate Garcia overestimated his knowledge.
By Amber Sellnow
Since five student representatives have resigned from Student Association, the council is no closer to filling seats than it was last week.
Within an hour and a half before the SA meeting on Feb. 12, the five submitted identical resignation letters—Alexander Cojan, Valeriy Dorn, Brandon Garcia, Daniel Karavan and Sergey Linnik. In the duplicated letter, they stated their disagreement with the president and felt that he is unethical because he “deceitfully denied the right of one of the Student Representatives to vote on overriding the special election.”
During the vote to override the elections to appoint three previous vacancies, Garcia voluntarily took chair, and according to Robert's Rule[s] of Order the chair is unable to vote unless there is a tie. But perhaps he assumed he was able to vote. Garcia also stated in his application for student representative, that he was “familiar with governing documents, such as a constitution and by-laws...”
There was a disagreement on the Feb. 19 meeting on whether or not the resignations were accepted prompting open vacancies. Student representatives submitted their resignations hours before the Feb. 12 meeting, the renouncements were not posted on the agenda.It all sounds pretty confusing, the confusion enhanced by the garbled reporting of the school newspaper. My friend “Steve,” an ARC faculty member who has served on occasion as my man-on-the-scene, thinks we have yet to hear the end of this story. It's widely believed that the extremist Christian bloc is regrouping for a campaign to retake the student association in the semester-end elections. Perhaps so, but this time they won't be able to run a stealth campaign. Their antics have attracted attention and their fumblings suggest they are not invincible. (Is God really on their side?)
Other than the five disbanding from council, and the argument on whether or not their resignation was accepted, there is a bigger dilemma. Was the vote from the Feb. 5 meeting (approval for the president to appoint three to council) still valid?
On the Feb. 19 meeting, Director of Public Relations, David Fisher, announced the qualified candidates [for?] the election committee. It consisted of election chair/Vice President of SA John Throm, Director of PR David Fisher, and two reps, Tanya Garcia and Yuriy Popko. The seven members available, the council approved three students the president appointed in a closed meeting on Feb. 14. Saba Siddiqui, Rachid Frihi, and Anthony Todd. Frihi was the only appointed member to actually show up to await approval of the council.
So what is to become of the five vacancies?
According to the bylaws, if there are four or less representative positions open, the council is able to override a special election. Even if the SA president is able to appoint three positions, an election will still have to take place, but that won't be known until next week.
Due to time constraints, the meeting was adjourned, and the rest of the meeting (including the reading of resignations/declaring vacancies, and filling of the remaining seats) has been tabled to the next meeting.
In the meantime, I was tipped off by an anonymous ARC student who visited this blog and posted the URL of a website devoted to monitoring the activities of the college's right-wing Christian activists. If you're curious, go to SaveARC.com and check it out. (Click on the red pill icon to get past the silly opening screen.) Is it truly the end, or merely the lull before the storm?
My ARC insider has provided me with some of the details concerning the meltdown of the Christian bloc in the college's student association. The right-wing student senators were, quite simply, suckered by an unsympathetic student body president. The president wanted to fill recent vacancies on the student senate by appointment rather than a special election, but that takes a two-thirds vote of the remaining senators. The president thought he had a majority, but probably not quite two thirds. He suspected the Christian bloc would oppose letting him name the replacements for their disqualified members. Therefore he made a seemingly generous offer to let one of them chair the meeting, a ploy they fell for. When the motion to allow appointment of replacement senators came up, the president voted in favor. When it came time for the no votes, the presiding senator attempted to vote, whereupon the president reminded him—informed him is more like it—that the presiding officer has no vote. Having been snookered into sacrificing one of their votes (and allowing the president to have a vote he normally would not have, clinching the two-thirds requirement), the extremist Christian bloc was infuriated. Their mass resignation followed.
It's not the end of the story.