ASI approves removal of VP position

Esteban Ramirez

Editor-in-Chief

 

The Associated Students Inc. board approved the proposal to remove the position of vice president of external affairs at the March 11 meeting.

According to ASI President Mike Kwon, the decision is due to not having sufficient funds for all the projects within the position.

Kwon added the board will continue to practice advocacy and that the responsibilities of the position will be added to the ASI president and executive vice president.

The position will be re-opened once sufficient funds have been put in place.

“We don’t have the budget to do that,” Kwon said. “We don’t have an executive director for ASI, and we are currently in the process of looking for one.”

The ASI board unanimously approved the proposal.

Kwon said that the former executive director, Taren Mulhause, was one of the lowest paid in the CSU system ($55,865) and the new executive director will get an increase ($60,000 to $65,000) that is negotiable.

Another factor is paying a part-time administrative support assistant.

ASI Executive Vice President Jennifer Sanchez said none of the duties of vice president of external affairs would be eliminated, and in a couple years, this position would be brought back.

Former Bakersfield College Student Government Association President Alex Dominguez said he wanted to argue to keep the position but applauded ASI for being responsible with the students’ money.

“I definitely agree with you all, now,” said Dominguez. “I commend you for being responsible, for being physically responsible with the students’ money, essentially. If it’s going to save us nearly $7,000, then I think it’s money that can go elsewhere.”

Earlier in the meeting, former ASI Vice President of External Affairs Ricky Perez discussed why it was a bad idea to eliminate the position.

“This board unanimously agreed to grant President Kwon the duties of vice president of external affairs, violating your own bylaws that state no member shall hold no more than one elected or appointed position within ASI simultaneously,” Perez read from a prepared statement. “Rather than providing a student with the opportunity to explore this option, you have swallowed yet another power afforded to the students. President Kwon your appetite for power has not gone unnoticed. You must discontinue your excessive consumption of power before you are forced to purge.”

ASI Director of Legislative Affairs Pedro Naveiras said that after the position became open in winter the board tried to get a student to fill the role.

“We opened it up to the student body but nobody applied,” Naveiras said.

He added they haven’t received student input.

“There are some factual errors that don’t make it fair to attack (Kwon),” he said.

ASI Director of Sustainability Oscar Alvarez added that advocacy is something the board will continue to do.