Academic Senate discusses amending bylaws

Discussion among the Pierce College Academic Senate members became heated when the topic of the presidency arose in their meeting on Monday, Sept. 23.

Former Vice President of Academic Policy Kathy Oborn succeeded to the presidency on Sept. 23 after much debate about protocol and bylaws after former president John Zayac stepped down from the presidency, as reported by the Roundup.

With the confusion behind it and the new president elected, the Senate started a discussion on the topic of amending the bylaws to allow for special elections in order to set a clear protocol should it be needed in the future.

“I think we really do need to modify the bylaws to say what scenarios would cause a special election,” Senate member David Schamus said. “Because of the lack of clarity this time I’d like to get the faculty involved so that a bunch of people made this decision, not 15.”

The discussion took a turn when Margarita Pillado, who ran for the presidency opposite Oborn, made a suggestion for a vote.

“I think another question to pose to the body is [if] we want to have a special election to elect a new president or to ratify the current president,” Pillado said.

Senate member Anthony Gabrielli explained that this was not possible because Oborn was duly elected according to the bylaws.

“What would that do to the legitimacy? We have a set of rules in place,” Gabrielli said. “She is the president. You can’t change the rules after the game is over.”

Gabrielli stated that the Senate had just fought about this issue for two weeks, and asked if they wanted to fight it again.

“I just think it’s time to move forward and go on with business in the Senate. Let’s revise the bylaws as they sit and see where that takes us,” Gabrielli said.