PCC’s District Student Council Recap of Monthly Meeting:

By Dom Belcastro|February 7, 2018Announcements, News|

PCC’s District Student Council Recap of Monthly Meeting:

Dom Belcastro


PCC’s District Student Council (DSC) conducted their monthly business meeting in Room 102 of the PCC CLIMB center this past Friday, February 2nd. Twelve of the fourteen members of the council are representatives from the Sylvania, Rock Creek, Cascade, and Southeast campuses’ student governments of PCC. The other two members are Kien Truong, the elected Chair, and Trami Nguyen, the council’s Executive Assistant. The position of Vice-Chair is currently vacant, but all three positions serve to facilitate the DSC. Full membership contact information can be found here.

ASPCC catered a breakfast of bagels, fruit and coffee to the members and presenters in the room. It should be noted this location provided few extra seats for interested students to attend, but DSC members emphasized that all meetings are open to the public. Roll call begins every session; full attendance of the council is required to conduct a session of the DSC. This particular meeting began roughly twenty minutes late due to transportation difficulties of a member, leading to a member walking out (later returning to the meeting) and later discussion among the full council at the close of the meeting about meeting location equity among campuses and other related issues.

The agenda began with a presentation by Alex Baldino, the Title IX coordinator from the Office of Equity and Inclusion, about a proposed Religious Accommodation policy being developed to protect certain PCC students on campus. Part of the proposed process to the council could include student focus groups on the various campuses to gather input on the policy.

Cascade Student Council president Nick Carmack voiced concern that finding students to participate in the student focus groups would be a challenge, particularly on the Cascade campus. He offered the idea to use an online survey to get student input on the policy. Daadir Shee, the Director of Legislative affairs on Cascade campus commented that he and other students had issues with access to the various campuses prayer rooms, especially after 5 PM. In some cases, he must ask for keys from a PCC public safety officer on campus. The speaker said these kinds of issues were not within his control, and directed member Shee to contact student services to remedy this.

Another agenda item was a presentation by two members of the PCC bike program, Mark and Ray. They explained plans to expand and increase collaboration between the campuses different bike rental / repair services. A Metro grant will fund the implementation of the expansion of the bike program into Sylvania and Rock Creek campuses. This grant will pay for programming the planned bike programs and for green transportation promotional events like a bike mechanics workshop to teach basic bike upkeep skills. The two also discussed the possibility of opening bike rental programs for short term use to help increase student interest on those campuses.

The legislative team, a subset of the DSC, updated the members on the creation of a handbook that should guide future members on the processes of the council. A job position to facilitate the creation of the handbook has been created and, council members stated, needs to be filled immediately. The hiring process of future DSC members was also an agenda item discussed in this same space. Some confusion and concerns around this adopted a chicken or the egg argument: focus on handbook first and then hammer out the hiring process, or vice-versa.

Next, Tammy Tran, Student Body Vice President of SE campus proposed becoming the PCC liason for the Oregon Community College Student Association policy committee. This involves a regular meeting with the members of the OCCSA to discuss and research various proposed policies in the state. Tran clarified the DSC’s ability to provide transportation funding to attend meetings in eastern Oregon.

Chair Truong then presented a draft of a letter to PCC President Mark Mitsui concerning sustainability related issues affecting the students of PCC. The letter contains three main areas the school can improve: increasing the funding that PCC’s Green Initiative Fund (recently renamed to the Eco Social Justice Grant) receives, addressing the significant food waste that school dining services creates, and enforcing the commitment PCC made to upholding a LEED silver rating for all school buildings. The Green Initiative Fund began in 2008 through an ASPCC approved student activity fee increase of ten cents per term. Since then, roughly one million dollars have been spent on various student led sustainability projects around Portland. This past application cycle, over $150,000 in funding requests were made by students, roughly twice of what was available. They argue, financial support from PCC’s administration could ensure every qualified project is sufficiently supported.

The meeting wound down with various announcements and updates from the campuses’ student body representatives: PCC Southeast held a midterm BBQ, Sylvania held a Wellness Week, Rock Creek’s Queer Resource Center (QRC) requested funds to create an all gender bathroom, and Cascade held a DACA information panel, club ‘carnival,’ SNAP sign up / food bank give away, as well as a free HIV testing session, held by the QRC.

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