Governor signs bill to make California State University student governments more open

Law requires SGA bodies to conform to new guidelines

CALIFORNIA -- The governor of California approved a bill in September that creates more specific open-meetings guidelines for student government bodies in the California State University System.   Gov. Gray Davis signed AB 1857 on Sept. 6. Cal. Educ. Code ยง89305 (2000).   The law, sponsored by Assemblywoman Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, will require student government bodies at CSU schools to post agendas of regular meetings at least 72 hours in advance, open their meetings to the public and allow audience members to address the body.   The bodies are only permitted to convene in closed sessions to discuss property negotiations, pending litigation and personnel issues.   The actions taken in closed sessions and the outcomes of any votes must be made public, however.

"With a clearer agenda out there, it gives the public more knowledge as well as a sense of disclosure and accountability," said Dennis Hall, legislative director for Romero.   Hall added that the closed session provision gives student government bodies flexibility to meet under circumstances that require immediate attention without breaking any open-meetings guidelines.

reports, Winter 2000-01