SFC chair under fire

A Student Fee Committee member has filed a complaint with the student government Constitution and Judicial Review Board asking the board to determine whether fee committee head Tina Cooper has failed to fulfill her duties as chairperson.


Cooper has not reported to the student senate and has not “assured overall operations” of the committee for the first three weeks of fall term, committee member Adas Lis alleged Tuesday. Lis also accused Cooper of providing misinformation to student groups during a fee committee orientation session.


As Student Fee Committee chair, Cooper heads the committee responsible for allocating over $8 million in student incidental fees to Portland State’s student groups, including the Vanguard, and athletics programs. 


If Cooper is found to be in “non-fulfillment of duties” by the review board, it could be considered a resignation from office under the Associated Students of Portland State University constitution, effectively removing her as committee chair.


In response to the allegations, Cooper did not deny that she has not reported to the Senate during fall term. Reporting to the Senate at Senate meetings is listed among the duties and responsibilities of the SFC chair in the position’s official job description. The job description does not specify how often the chair is expected to report to the Senate.


“There’s no where in the constitution that requires me to report to the senate,” Cooper said. “The constitution trumps all other guidelines, is what I’ve been told.”


In response to the charge of providing misinformation, “If I misspoke I apologize for that,” Cooper said, adding that another committee member could have chimed in and corrected her.


The judicial board, which is appointed by student government to rule on questions of interpretation of the constitution, heard opening arguments in the case Tuesday, but decided not to rule on the case until it could review further information next week. The board requested that both Lis and Cooper provide more evidence and documentation for their sides of the case.


Cooper won office in March after being the sole candidate to run for the position in the student elections. Her term as Student Fee Committee chair began in July.