Associated Students Inc. (ASI) discussed possible options to fill the chairman vacancy during its July 20 informational meeting.
On July 15, Cinthya Arriaga-Sanchez and ASI Senators Jasmine Sevilla and Samantha Snow resigned from their respective positions for the upcoming 2022-23 academic year, according to James D. Martinez, ASI director of operations
“Due to CSU’s requirements, there is a GPA requirement that every leader must meet, and that is a 2.0 GPA or higher, unfortunately, those requirements were not met,” said Karen Carrillo, executive vice president (EVP).
Carrillo currently serves as interim and acting president.
He presented three recommendations from the executive council to the senate, which were “in the interest of the senate”.
The first recommendation presented follows ASI’s line of succession, in which the EVP would take over if the senate is in favor and the EVP accepts the position.
Carrillo said she would continue to serve as interim president, but if the Senate accepted that option, she would decline the presidency.
“When I first ran for EVP, my whole heart and mindset was to serve you, the Senate, as your boys’ executive vice president,” he said.
If Carrillo does not fill the vacancy, next in line is Finance Vice President Gabriel Parra, who was unable to attend the special meeting and gave a statement to ASI.
Parra said he would withdraw his name for consideration due to factors in his personal and social life. He expressed that he “doesn’t feel comfortable taking on such a demanding role at the moment.”
Vice President of External Affairs Caroline Alvarez would be next in line if the finance vice president declines the position. Alvarez said she is open to making her name known as a possible presidential candidate if the Senate follows the line of succession.
“This is my second year [as VPEX] and I really enjoyed it last year and I was looking forward to doing it again this year,” Alvarez said. “But then, unfortunately, this circumstance arose and I thought it would be easier for me to take on that role as I’m a veteran on the executive committee.”
Martinez noted that it is not unheard of for those in the line of succession to decline to step in as president.
During inability of president-elect in 2020, former EVP Hisham Qutob served only as interim president of ASI and did not want to be elevated to his position, according to Martinez.
Carrillo said the second recommendation for the Senate is to appoint the “next suitable candidate” from the special presidential election to be held in the spring semester of 2022, Aidan Garaygordobil.
If Garaygordobil accepts the position, he will be appointed president of ASI.
The third recommendation presented was another special election process, which would take place during the fall semester.
Martinez said that, according to ASI regulations, the process will take about 60 to 90 days. That would mean a president wouldn’t be chosen until later in the fall semester of 2022.
“That happened about two or three years ago when a winning presidential candidate was disqualified from the office of president and a special election had to be held to fill that position, and that was the position that wasn’t filled until about the end of October. “, he said.
Because of the previous special presidential election held to avoid entering next semester without a sitting president, Martinez said the executive board suggested that option was not the best solution to fill the vacancy.
Specifically, Martinez pointed out that in the past spring general and special elections, ASI has heard from outside political organizations and from “both sides of the aisle” considering endorsements for presidential candidates.
“Because special elections, particularly if you look at our election history, tend to have low voter turnout, it’s really easy for outside interests to influence that,” he said. “Although the latter group did their due diligence and put provisions in the election code to prevent outside influence from our elections as much as possible.”
Other ASI Senator vacancies will be processed once the academic year begins and applications will be withdrawn at the beginning of the fall semester.
Carrillo said the Senate will vote on which decision to make during a special session on July 27 from 4 to 6 p.m.
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