ASG exercises political muscle

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RESOLUTION: An isolated Student Services Coordinator Daniel Marquez, far left, listens to student leaders outline complaints about the overreaching influence of his role in student politics

Student Government reintroduces resolution.

For the second time in four years a group of disgruntled student leaders have voiced complaints against their adviser by using a political maneuver that attempts to define and limit his role.

Student Life Coordinator Daniel Marquez has acted as de facto Associated Student Government adviser since 2009, after his predecessor resigned.

ASG leaders have accused Marquez of exercising too much authority, including preplanning events without input from elected student leaders, appointing committee chairpersons without the president’s knowledge, and monthly student presidential reports to district trustees.

The resolution defining the adviser’s role was drafted and passed in 2009, but never added to the constitution.

At the time, ASG was dealing with a statewide fiscal crisis that threatened to cut classes, Alex Flores, ASG president from 2008 to 2010 said, “We were busy focusing on budget issues.”

On the first day of her term, current ASG President Edna Tobias asked Marquez for copies of the agenda and minutes from the 2009 meeting when the resolution was passed.

In an email to Tobias, Marquez wrote, “within the ASG constitution there is no specific section which clearly outlines the role of the Adviser.”

Tobias says Marquez cited logistical backlogs, and ignored her requests for a document that should be available to the public.

She received a copy of the resolution eight and a half months later, not from Marquez but from Flores.

Agendas and minutes from past years are kept in the Student Life Office and should be easily accessible, said Lilia Tanakeyowma, dean of student affairs.

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But Tanakeyowma says it shouldn’t matter whether it’s in the constitution.

“Resolutions are just as legally binding as any other amendment to the constitution,” Tanakeyowma said.

But while two separately elected student governments have grumbled about Marquez, the college has yet to receive a formal complaint since he was hired, Tanakeyowma said.

Marquez has turned down multiple requests to comment about his role as adviser on the record.

He will return to his original position at the Student Outreach Office by the end of March, a move that has nothing to do with student dissatisfaction, college officials said.

Despite the frustration of delays, President Tobias is glad the role of future ASG advisers will be more clearly defined.

Marquez made her feel like he was doing her job she said. “That’s my job,” Tobias added.

The college will hire an interim adviser for the rest of the spring semester.

RESOLUTION: An isolated Student Services Coordinator Daniel Marquez, far left, listens to student leaders outline complaints about the overreaching influence of his role in student politics.

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