Editorial: Lack of student involvement and ASCRC accountability is hurting the campus

Every semester, when paying tuition, students contribute $1 to a fund for the Associated Students of Cosumnes River College, which is meant for them to spend on events or services to benefit the campus and student body as a whole.

The problem is that most students not only do not know that they are contributing this money but even worse, they don’t know what the money is being spent on.

ASCRC is made up of the Student Senate and the Clubs and Events Board. Every academic year, newly-elected and appointed officers take on the responsibility to make important monetary decisions that affect the campus.

Students are allowed to vote for officers to fill some of the roughly 40 positions available every spring. Of those seats, only three have been filled for the coming academic year.

Having so few students making choices for a campus this size means there is no way they can accurately represent the majority of what the students want.

Imagine the outrage that would ensue if President Obama and two other members of congress just went ahead and made decisions for the entire country with our tax dollars.

Why does that outrage not happen at CRC?

Students simply do not care. They are here for a few hours a day and then leave. Less than 5 percent of the entire student body voted in the last campus election.

In the recent special election, held after only two officers were elected last spring, only one candidate ran and out of the 11 votes cast for him, only eight of them were yes votes, according to flyers ASCRC has placed around campus.

While students not voting helped lead to the short staffed student government, there are issues that go beyond just the voting. With only three officers doing the work that should be done by an entire staff, there are things they are bound to be missing.

When interviewing ASCRC recently about the budget they are working with, the president wasn’t even sure what the budget number currently was. That is usually the job of the treasurer, but since there is no treasurer this semester it makes no sense that the officers they do have don’t at least know the ballpark budget figures.

Judging by this semester’s census of nearly 15,000 students, the ASCRC should be handling at least $15,000 right now. It’s hard to spend money for the betterment of the campus if they are unaware of how much money is available to do so.

ASCRC is doing the best they can at the moment, but both they and the students need to do more.

If we as a community, because we are a community, stepped up to the plate and got involved in campus politics, our elected officers would not have such a hard job to do.

Every single person on campus has to have an opinion about how to improve CRC, and the fact that we spend even a little time here without voicing those opinions is a shame.

Getting involved can be as easy as going to a Student Senate meeting and making a suggestion, or as challenging as running for a seat on one of the boards and trying to make a difference for your fellow students.

If all 40-something seats were filled, the views of so many more students would be represented.

If all the seats were filled, there would be a better chance of getting things done to improve the quality of life students experience while on campus.

The budget could be put towards stuff students actually want and would enjoy, instead of wasting it on things like constitution booklets that contain information you could find online in seconds.

ASCRC cannot be held responsible for the job they are doing whether it be good or bad if no one is bothering to pay attention.

For the sake of everyone, get involved.