-- 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 §89305
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.