As many of you know, on Constitution Day ASCC discussed a resolution to condemn the National Security Agency for their violation of our 4th Amendment right to privacy. Concerned students of the club Young Americans for Liberty, petitioned the Associated Students of Citrus College to pass the resolution at hand.
Even with the hundreds of signatures and tens of students attending the meetings, it failed 7-3-2.
During the meeting, valid concerns were raised from ASCC members, such as what type of impact student government could really make on the national frontier. In 1977, Michigan State University and Stanford University voted to divest connections from South Africa in protest for racial segregation enforced by the countries National Party. By 1988, 154 colleges including the University of California had passed similar measures, setting the stage for national involvement, ultimately ending the country’s apartheid.
One may say, “Those are big names, how can we as a California Community College system do the same?” As the California Community College System, we are the biggest college system in the entire world, with over 2.4 million students. This resolution had the potential to become something more influential than what it appeared.
A second concern was that this should be taken to our local representatives. While this is reasonable, they miss one key aspect. Citrus College hosts about 1000 students from foreign nations every year, whom have no representative in our government and are affected by the NSA’s overreach. We are the only elected representative voice they have in America. YAL recognized this, which is why they attempted to gather signatures from foreign students specifically. Foreign students were part of this movement.
After the meeting, there was a “Privacy vs. Security” forum with Hans Johnson of Progressive Victory and Ben Shapiro, a columnist and lawyer from Harvard Law. One is conservative, the other liberal, and although they disagreed on minor issues they both agreed: the NSA requires oversight. The vice president of YAL asked them both about the resolution which failed, and both stressed the importance and impact that students can have.
Although I am disappointed in the fact that the resolution failed, I am glad that it made people think about the issue. Days following the vote, students approached me and thanked me for at least trying. My response has been, “I was elected to represent you, through thick and thin.”
ASCC Legislative Liaison