A word that is attached to government, and the actions of government and its agencies, is transparency. Without transparency, the people are left in the dark about what their government is doing, which leads to shady dealings and negates the idea of democracy.
The government of Cosumnes River College, the student government, needs more transparency.
As a student body we need to know one thing, where is our money going?
Every semester $1 of student tuition is taken and put in a special fund accessible by the Associated Students of Cosumnes River College in order to pay for events and scholarships throughout the year.
Events include everything from the vendor fair to club rush days.
There are roughly around 15,000 students at CRC each semester meaning that the ASCRC obtains around $15,000 a semester for this purpose, $30,000 an academic year, not including money left over from previous semesters.
When interviewed in September, ASCRC President Katelyn Rodriguez was unable to state what their current budget was, and was only able to quote that it was $7,258 as of June 2014.
Meaning that out of the around $15,000 they had been given by the students in January of 2014, they had only spent roughly $7,700.
So where is the rest of that money going?
Repeated requests for information on the current budget and use of the money gained no response from ASCRC.
It was stated by the ASCRC before that they use some of the money to go to the California Community College Student Affairs Association conference, where they gain leadership training.
While gaining experience as a leader is valuable to individuals, and to those in positions of power, there is no tangible value to this expense for the overall student body.
They go to a conference somewhere spending the money that students have given, and students don’t get much out of the deal.
Rodriguez said that the leftover money goes into a special fund that they can use later.
Students deserve to know how much is in that special fund, and what is happening to the rest of their money.
Some might argue that students could possibly seek this information out, as past and current budgets are likely to be available upon request, but there is no reason this information should have to be requested.
Students should not have to go out of their way to get information about how the ASCRC is using their money.
The information should be readily available for students to view.
A search through the CRC website offered no results in regards to a published budget for ASCRC.
There is no excuse for officers within the ASCRC to not know how much money they are dealing with each semester, whether there is a treasurer or not.
If students are expected to keep giving money every semester to the ASCRC, then the ASCRC should make it clear where that money is going.
A place online, flyers, announcements, or whatever other avenue there is that will get the information out there is all that matters.
Taking our money, and using it, yet not being able to tell us what it all went towards is unacceptable.
ASCRC, it’s time to show us the money.