Greeks, Acha Granted Seats on A.s. Council

by Staff

In a reversal, the Associated Students Council voted last night togrant three student organizations seats on the council.

New council seats have not been granted to a student organizationin more than seven years.

TheInterfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Association, and theAssociation of Chicana Activists were granted provisional non-votingseats for the spring semester.

If the council feels these three organizations continue to meetand improve upon A.S. Council seat guidelines, they will be grantedvoting rights next fall.

Yesterday’s decision rescinds the council’s Nov. 17 vote to denythe organizations seats on the council. Originally, the councilcontended the three organizations did meet all of the 10 guidelines.

However, accusations that council members did not have adequateinformation about each organization before casting their vote led thecouncil to readdress each application.

“I don’t think these groups at the last meeting took theapplication seriously enough,” A.S. Vice President of Finance DuyNguyen said. “They were being very vague. This council seat thingshould be taken seriously. It needs to have some kind of detail soall council members can be aware of each organization.”

Concerns were also raised that by denying these organizationscouncil seats, Associated Students would be contradicting its purposeto provide San Diego State University students with a voice.

“By denying A.S. council seats, we are denying a voice to a largenumber of students,” council member Ron Williams said. “As a councilmember, I don’t want to say I was part of something that deniedstudents a voice.”

Most of the debate at last night’s meeting centered around theamount of cultural programming that IFC and Panhellenic provide fortheir 1,400 members — the same topic that was heavily debated beforethe council denied them seats Nov. 17.

Council members suggested the guideline stating an organization’sneed for cultural programming be waived for the two groups. AlthoughA.S. bylaws provide waivers for some of these guidelines, both groupsfelt they had enough programming to satisfy the requirement.

“I’m really happy because I know we met all the criteria,” saidNajla Tabbah, A.S. greek affairs liaison. “I’m glad that they finallycame to their senses and realized that the greeks have a large voiceon campus and (that) they should finally be represented through A.S.”

Although the council granted IFC and Panhellenic council seats,Jason “Woody” Wood, an IFC executive council member, said he wasstill upset about Associated Students’ bitterness over diversity.

“I think they made the right decision,” Wood said. “But eventhough the motion did pass, I think personalities about greeks stillcame into play.”

Wood said he is confident this decision will help mend fencesbetween the A.S. Council and the greek community and that it willencourage greeks to be more involved in student government.

“This decision is going to get the greeks back into A.S. Council,”said Wood, who has unsuccessfully run for A.S. executive offices inthe past. “I can guarantee seeing a huge increase in greeks. Comeelection time, I can definitely predict at least two or three (greek)executive members.”

The council also decided that an error in the seat applicationshindered AChA’s eligibility for a seat. The guidelines state thateach organization must “participate” in community service programsbut council was under the impression that organizations must presenttheir own programming.

“I congratulate all the organizations who were granted a seatbecause they all worked very hard,” AChA member Tania Lopez said.

IFC, Panhellenic and AChA have been denied voting seats severaltimes in the past. It wasn’t until last year that Associated Studentsestablished criteria for its applicants.

The last seats added to the council were the Residential andHousing Association and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender StudentUnion.