Student government handed $450,000-plus budget


El Camino staff, faculty, and students, including ASO President Joey Mardesich (far right) mingling during the aftermath of the latest BOT meeting. Feb. 19, 2019. Photo credit: Fernando Haro

The student government at El Camino College was given control of over $450,000 during tonight’s Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting in EC’s Alondra Room.

The trustees did not hesitate to approve the transfer of funds from the Auxiliary Services Board (ASB) to the Associated Student Organization (ASO), deleting Board Policy (BP) 5032 and leaving BP 5420 in place.

“[BP 5420] is a legally required policy by the state,” EC President Dena Maloney said. “[It] defines how the ASO has responsibility for the expenditure of the fees and levels of authority with regards to that.”

EC’s BOT meetings occur on the third Monday of every month and are open to the public. Feb.19, 2019 Photo credit: Fernando Haro

The ASB was responsible for overseeing the funding of clubs and programs on campus including fine arts and student athletics.

Most of the funding came from the optional purchase of the $15 bi-annual ASB sticker—also known as a student activities fee.

The now-defunct policy sets the guidelines for allotting the $450,000-plus budget. ASB received 65 percent and ASO received 35 percent.

But Maloney said that meant the two board policies conflicted.

During the meeting, Stefanie Frith, a tenured professor, and The Union advisor said she was thankful for the continued support of the program but was concerned about the long-term plan for club and program funding.

“I just want to make sure that there is a long-term, stable plan,” Frith said. “Our program is 100 percent funded through that activity fee and when it started it was sort of sold and marketed that it would include and support the newspaper.”

However, despite expressed concerns at the meeting, ASO President Joey Mardesich said everything would “relatively” stay the same.

“A lot of it’s going to stay the same as it was in previous years,” Mardesich said. “Everybody’s still going to be funded through the same way, it’s not like clubs are gonna get 300,000 more dollars to just create activities with.”

Mardesich said that meetings are already taking place this year to discuss strategies for “next year and years to come.”

As for ASO, Mardesich plans on increasing student activities but can’t guarantee much for the future.

“It’s hard for me to say what we plan to do in future years,” Mardesich said. “In a few months I won’t be here and it’s gonna be whoever gets elected next year to decide how to run that.”

The next open-session BOT meeting will be Monday, March 18, at 5 p.m. in EC’s Alondra Room, located above the Bookstore.


Updated: 11:06 a.m., Feb. 20, grammatical errors were adjusted for accuracy.