Editorial – ASDVC flouts the Brown Act



The first Associated Students of DVC meeting this semester had to be cancelled because President Lindsay St. Hill failed to post the agenda 72 hours before the scheduled meeting, as required by law.

One would expect St. Hill and rest of the board to brush up on the Ralph M. Brown Act to prevent further embarrassing mistakes.

But perhaps they just don’t care.

The Brown Act guarantees the public’s right to fully and freely, attend and participate in meetings held by elected officials.

The law clearly states that any “documents presented to the legislative body during a meeting…” – budgets, proposals, amendments, reports – need to be made readily available to the public without delay.

The ASDVC has failed to do this.

In past years, hard copies of the agendas, minutes from the previous meetings and any other handouts to be discussed were consistently provided at the beginning of meetings.

No longer.

Last semester, this practice stopped, and the ASDVC began putting the agenda on an overhead projector during its meetings.

On one occasion, an Inquirer editor waited 45 minutes after an ASDVC meeting before someone made her a copy of a document discussed that afternoon.

On another occasion, the same editor was told she would have to e-mail St. Hill to obtain a copy of the agenda for the meeting she was there to attend.

These are violations of the Brown Act.

And it matters.

ASDVC officers do more than burnish their resumes for transfer to UC Berkeley and beyond.

They control thousands of dollars and make decisions about how that money is spent, be it on college club activities, campus-wide events, meal money for athletes at away games, conferences they attend themselves, or preserving the jobs of student workers in the Student Union building.

If you visited the ASDVC website on Tuesday of this week looking for information that day’s 2 p.m. meeting, what would you have found?


There are links to the previous week’s agenda and some backup materials, but nothing about the meeting 24 hours away.

The only page that really works, titled “Executives,” has cute profiles of board members, including their goals and qualifications.

What has Jocelyn Leung, the ASDVC’s official web-master, been doing all semester?

Just days away from final exams, the site has fluffy profiles but nothing that actually matters.

We have a few suggestions.

Get the website up and running.

The district governing board posts its agenda, backup materials and minutes of each meeting on its website. It also sends an envelope of that material to the press before its meeting.

The Faculty Senate sends its agendas to “everyone” on the DVC email list before its meetings, as does the newly formed College Council.


They follow the letter of the law by posting one agenda on campus.,

But why not also put a copy in the cafeteria, the library and outside the Student Services building?

And how about an e-mail blast to “everyone” on the DVC email list, so professors can pass on the information to their students?

That would be a good proactive step.

Hopefully, the ASDVC can figure it out by next semester.

After all, it’s the law.