Coast student leaders get budget duties in writing

Orange Coast College's student government won official recognition for a long-standing practice that has allowed it to manage substantial revenue from the campus bookstore, recycling center and certain student fees.

The Coast Community College District Board of Trustees granted a request to put the policy in writing Wednesday night, shortly after it approved the students' $1.3 million budget for the upcoming year.

That money funds the organization's operations but also covers a host of student activities like travel for athletics teams and tutoring at a student center.

The opportunity for the Associated Students of Orange Coast College to draft such an expansive budget has existed for decades, Josh Stone, the organization's vice president of fiscal affairs, told the board. The accepted practice was just never cast as official policy.

To make sure the power is preserved for future student leaders, Stone and other ASOCC members worked with the district to draft a resolution detailing the budgeting process.

"Voting yes today for this resolution reaffirms the principals of civic duty and volunteerism," Stone told board members. "Voting yes today on this resolution guarantees collaboration, a harmonious opportunity of student interests blended with those of our mentors."

After a five-month process of working on the document, the board approved it unanimously Wednesday.

"I appreciate the student's openness to suggestion to find language that we could all agree on that would serve your needs and our needs and the community's needs," Board President Lorraine Prinsky said, calling the resolution a win-win.

ASOCC's budget process will remain the same, according to the resolution. And students will still go through training each year before taking on the task of considering funding requests from campus organizations.

The student budget process goes like this: After a review by OCC's president, the budget is forwarded to the college district's board of trustees, who hold final approval.

Trustees praised students' work on Wednesday's resolution and the OCC's student government program as a whole.

"It's certainly really the best in the state," trustee David Grant said. "It's just a wonderful service that the associated students do for students on campus, over and over."

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