A few months ago, Mekonnen Garedew and ASI President Shefali Mistry were just casual friends. Today, Garedew is Mistry’s new chief-of-staff.
In a laid-back Associated Students Inc. senate meeting, which featured more laughing than debate, the senate unanimously approved Mistry’s nomination, Garedew, to be the chief-of-staff to the president. The senate also narrowly elected College of Liberal Arts Sen. Shelena McClintock to be chairwoman pro-tempore of the Board of Control, and elected Health and Human Services Sen. Justin Todoroff to be chairman pro-tempore of the senate.
“This is my last year as a grad student, and I wanted to give something back to the students,” Garedew said.
Garedew applied for the position, and Mistry was impressed by Garedew’s rÃ©sumÃ©, which featured experience in government and business, along with volunteer work.
“When I talked to people around campus about him, everyone said what a great person he is,” Mistry said. “Plus, he has a great background and has no hidden agenda because he is graduating next year.”
While in front of the senate, Garedew quoted Brittany Felder, a junior Cal State Long Beach student, from a March 23, 2006 story in the special Elections Guide edition of the Daily Forty-Niner titled “ASI, students suggest ideas to increase voter turnout,” in which Felder said, “ASI is corrupt and many aren’t doing their job that they are being paid to do.”
Garedew said that there is something wrong with the senate when students have such a negative view of ASI and that one of his main goals as chief-of-staff is to improve ASI’s image on campus.
In other senate dealings, McClintock was elected by her fellow senators to be the chairwoman of the Board of Control, which is in charge of ASI finances and delegates money to different organizations.
McClintock narrowly won the election, defeating senate newcomer Ashley Crowder by two votes and James Davis by three. By finishing in second, Crowder became senate representative of the Board of Control, the second in command on the board.
“I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous,” McClintock said about her feelings as the vote was being tallied up.
In the other senate election Wednesday, Todoroff easily won the top place as the chairman pro-tempore of the senate, defeating Guido D’Onofrio 11-2.
Todoroff’s main objective is to clarify the bylaws of the senate, which Todoroff compares to the Constitution of the United States. Todoroff has already proposed ten new amendments to the bylaws this year.
“Our bylaws haven’t had a through overhaul since 2003,” Todoroff said. “There have been problems in the past with vagueness in the bylaws, and I’m trying to make sure we don’t repeat those problems again.”