Board of Directors Make Up for Lost Time

Bellevue College Board of Directors
Bellevue College Board of Directors

After the May 5 Board of Directors meeting was cancelled because of the tuition forum, the BOD met on Wednesday, May 12, with a packed agenda.

The first order of business was to review the budget summary. ASG currently has $176,200 left in their account after having $110,000 come in that was left over from last year. President Joseph Root says they are “doing well financially.” He would like to put aside a direct contingency fund that they can take out that the Board does not actually use.

Chapman Chung, ASG VP of Finance and Communications suggest to always leave at least $110,000 in their account as a safety line that should never pass.

Next on the agenda were the Student Environmental Sustainability Fee (SESF) budget recommendations.

The first recommendation came from campus operations hoping to place recycling bins in every room on campus, specifically 145 bins total. The amount for the bins is $5,723.84. The bins will be made with 30% post consumer recycled material.

The second recommendation came from the Student Science Association (SSA) requesting an incubator on campus for student use to conduct research.  The incubator is important for environmental research progress and will be used to grow fungi.

According to Root, there’s has been much research showing that environmental remediation can be caused by oyster mushrooms breaking down toxins in the environment. It is unclear how and what the mushrooms do, but if something can be asserted as to how, it can be replicated or genetically modified to make it happen on a larger scale. This will be one of the very few aspects of undergraduate research that can happen on the BC campus that has a direct affect on environmental initiatives.

The purpose of SESF is to directly benefit students by keeping the campus environmentally responsible.

After a unanimous vote from the Board, the SESF budget was approved.

The Board then moved on to discuss the Student Technology Fee (STF) budget recommendations. BC’s North Campus has made a request of $11,866.90 to purchase more computers.

An issue that comes with this is that the leasing contract for the North Campus building will be expiring in a couple of months, so they are not sure whether it is a good idea to get new equipment at this time.

It is not clear if the lease will be renewed, but the college does not currently have another building they plan to move to.  The North Campus made another request for the purchase of nine podiums used to support laptops for professors. Each podium costs about $1,000.

According to Chung, the North Campus’ budget is about $24-26,000. If the Board approves both of these funding requests, the college would only have $2,000 leftover in their budget.

The college only collects about $5,000 a year because of the number of students and low enrollment.

Bernard Ellouk, ASG Chief Justice vouched for the requests, explaining that the North Campus has been building up their budget for quite awhile, not spending anything in close to five years. The college has been replacing old computers and buying new technology out of the actual tuition funds they receive.

They have been saving up for a big purchase like this. According to the college’s representative, it will not be a big issue to them if they only have $2,000 left in their budget because they have been waiting for this.

Jean-Claude Kameni, Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Representative expressed his concern that with only $2,000 leftover, the college will not be able to meet the demands of the student enrollment that is increasing every year. The college has spent 90% of their money this year.

The Board voted and for the first time, there were zero votes to approve the request and six to not approve.

Next on the agenda was Executive Director of Legislative Affairs job description.

Ellouk was concerned about the bullet point that explained that if hired, the Executive Director must be registered and complete eight credits in spring and fall quarter.

“My only kind of apprehension with that is it’s not in the same standards we follow. It’s really going to open the door for everyone to start setting double standards here within student programs. And it kind of goes against what we already upheld,” he said.

Nathan Yaffee, a student from OSLA felt that the requirement was “slightly discriminatory on a coincidental basis,” explaining that there may be a situation where a class is not offered one quarter, and a student has already completed all their degree requirements except for a small handful.

The Board voted to transplant the ASG President’s job description on the Executive Director’s description, with the stipulation that winter quarter (during the legislative session) is different.

Before moving on, Andres Munt, Campus Life and Events Representative noted that the job description was repetitive and needed editing.

“If you go by this trying to hire somebody, it’ll make it a little complicated because you’re gonna be going down a checklist that’s repeating itself. I just want a regular student to pick it up and understand it. Not pick it up, take it home and read it in the bathroom,” he joked.

After much discussion and in the interest of time, the Board decided to have someone edit clerical changes in the job description and bring it back to be approved at the next BOD meeting.

Jessica Darmawan volunteered to do the job and felt that she was a good candidate, considering that she understands the things OLSA is looking for and is an English tutor.

The Board unanimously voted to approving the Executive Director of Legislative Affairs job descriptions with the stipulated changes to be edited by Darmawan.

Funding requests from clubs were next on the agenda.

The Business Leadership Club asked for $340 to buy a new 3×7 ft banner for advertising their club and using at events.

The club also asked for $550 to fund their alumni event that following night.

Both requests were approved.

Next was the Art/Physics club request for $770.88 for an interactive art installation that combined the two clubs’ passions.

The project required having materials like a black out curtain, since the installation will be taking place inside the art gallery and everything will be dark.

The group also wanted to have shirts to sell and raise money, but because state funding cannot be used for further fundraising, they are not able to do so. The Board voted and decided to amend their request from $770.88 to $500, with at least $40 to go to advertising the event.

After an hour, the meeting was adjourned.