By, Alanna Anglin
A decision by COD’s Associated Students of College of the Desert (ASCOD) has put the Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Club in jeopardy of being barred from the Inter-Club Olympics.
The tension began earlier this year when MESA was informed that their club status was not renewed for this academic year. In fact, MESA was accused of not being a club for three years, and other clubs informally have asked that MESA return the money they won at Inter-Club Olympics last year, citing that MESA was not chartered. “However, there are Inter-Club Council (ICC) minutes from October 2011 clearly stating that MESA had been chartered,” according to Vice President of MESA Club, Todor Nikolov. MESA Club resubmitted their charter on April 5, 2013.
A five to one vote by the ASCOD Board denied MESA Club’s charter resubmission on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, citing that it was too late in the semester. Officials of the MESA Club will appeal this decision at the next ASCOD meeting, Tuesday, April 30, 2013 in an effort to regain official club status.
Club Advisor, Dr. Carl Farmer, stated, “With a little research, we have found several places where ASCOD has violated their bylaws by taking this action and we believe we will be on very solid ground at the next meeting, but we will have to wait and see.”
One of the alleged violations ASCOD and ICC committed, Nikolov claims, is a violation of the Brown Act, which states that all minutes “must be provided, upon request, to members of the public without delay” (24957.5 Ch. V). “Student Life was unable to provide me any minutes, from either club, for 2013,” Nikolov says.
For the first time in thirteen years at COD, MESA is in danger of being discontinued. It is associated with the statewide MESA Program and has nearly 250 COD members. “The Club has existed in part to include many of the students who do not qualify for the Program and has been a very successful club over the past years,” Farmer stated.
If the club is discontinued, members of the club will not have the opportunity to participate in club events such as the Inter-Club Olympics, club potlucks, movie nights, or host the Math and Science Lecture Series. A final resolution of this issue will take place this Tuesday, April 30, to determine the fate of MESA and all its members.