Paying a stipend to student government members who do hours of extra work to ensure the best representation for Los Medanos College is not a bad thing.
It was not wrong for the Associated Students of LMC to try to allocate themselves stipends last month, as stipends have been implemented before and they are likely to be implemented again.
The problematic issue is with the lack of transparency about the proposal to the students of LMC who helped vote these officers and senators into their positions.
As the Experience reported in the Nov. 15 issue, California’s Ralph M. Brown Act was created to ensure transparency and to make sure people have a say in what their money does and where it goes.
When you are paying a student fee or voting for student officers, you should be making sure your money and your vote is going where you want it to. The $15 student activity fee, which everyone pays to be enrolled as a student at LMC, should benefit all LMC students and should also be adequately represented in an LMCAS agenda to allow those who do not agree with allocations to make a comment about them at the meeting.
From the outside looking in, it seemed as if LMCAS was trying to sneak a stipend for members under the noses of their fellow students. It is probably more of a misunderstanding than anything intending to be duplicitous or purposefully in violation of the Brown Act.
The Experience believes LMCAS senators and officers should undergo more complete training about the complex topic of the Brown Act to ensure that a similar situation does not happen in the future.