ASI execs propose limiting candidates

ASI+board+members+discuss+why+eliminating+the+vice+president+of+external+affairs+position+is+an+unwise+choice+at+the+meeting+on+Friday.+%0APhoto+by+Chris+Mateo%2FThe+Runner

ASI board members discuss why eliminating the vice president of external affairs position is an unwise choice at the meeting on Friday. Photo by Chris Mateo/The Runner

Esteban Ramirez

Editor-in-Chief

 

The Associated Students Inc. President Mike Kwon proposed changing the requirements of running in ASI elections and changing director positions as the board discussed making changes to the bylaws during its board of directors meeting last Friday.

Kwon suggested the addition of a clause to the bylaws that those running for executive office positions can only run if they are current ASI members.

“We can’t have this up-and-down change in leadership of ASI,” said Kwon during the meeting. “There has to be some sort of consistent and continuing efforts to improving ASI and the student experience.”

Kwon added that no students outside of the ASI board could run for an executive position.

Director of Legislative Affairs Pedro Naveiras suggested that it should include former ASI members.

However, not every director thought it would be the right decision to just limit it to former and current directors.

Director of General Studies Ruth Orozco said she thought the change was unfair to the students.

“I feel like mostly the people that do run have been former directors, and just eliminating that option of the students running, it just makes us look bad,” said Orozco. “Also, let’s say some of us don’t want to run for a position and no one is running for it, what are we going to do in that situation?”

Kwon said it has to do with finishing the prior projects.

“I’m hesitant with students that come into the executive positions with high hopes, but don’t get the full demand of what the position entails,” he said. “I think all the executive officers can attest to how much commitment and time is really needed.”

Upper Division Director Charmaine Parubrub said she doesn’t want to limit the students out of the ASI board.

Executive Vice President Jennifer Sanchez added they would also need to be on the board for one whole year, but Vice President of University Affairs Anish Mohan suggested it should only be for a semester or two quarters.

Additionally, Kwon suggested the idea of changing positions such as director of ASI Antelope Valley and director of housing into liaison positions. Kwon also proposed the idea of eliminating the position for vice president for external affairs, which is currently vacant.

Kwon said it was due to not enough commitment or concentration in advocacy for that position.

Vice President of Programming Mirka Sanchez didn’t agree with the idea of removing the position for vice president of external affairs.

“That doesn’t make sense in my book,” Mirka Sanchez said. “Like, why wouldn’t we want one? Currently, we are doing fine without it, but we don’t know what is entail for next year. I don’t (see) the need to take it out.”

Kwon said that the responsibilities of that position wouldn’t be eliminated but would be disbursed into other groups on the board.

Mirka Sanchez added that just because they haven’t had anyone great at that position in the past, doesn’t mean ASI should take it out.

“It doesn’t make sense why you want to take it out,” said Mirka Sanchez.

Director of Social Sciences and Education Nicole Mirkazemi said that the campus just isn’t interested in advocacy right now.

“There are students that are (interested) in advocacy but there isn’t enough need to allocate a vice-president position,” said Mirkazemi. “If we don’t have a following for it, then they are not going to make a difference. It’s unfortunate. I wish it were different but that’s just how are campus is right now. In the future, I think we can always add that position.”

Kwon said that because the vice president in external affairs also gets a scholarship, a discretionary budget as well as lined items as far as funding goes that it takes away funding for events from other committees.

“Once we have that position for next year, we won’t have the same funds available and that is what I am scared of,” said Kwon. “If we pull into reserves every single year, it’s just going to drain every single year and I would hate to do that.”

ASI decided to table the discussion until the meeting this Friday.

The board of directors meets every Friday from 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the ITV Studio Center C.