Campus, News

ASI Senate votes to reorganize

Associated Students, Inc Senate voted Wednesday to reorganize the student government’s executive positions by June 2017. The reorganization will eliminate two positions, add three new positions and redistribute the executives’ workload.

The reorganization will eliminate the positions of chief programming officer and chief of staff. The CPO responsibilities will be reallocated to a new staff position filled by a student who will be paid hourly. The new position will be a supervisory role rather than a coordinating role.

Several of the current presidential cabinet positions will be rolled into three new executive positions: vice president of academic affairs, vice president of government affairs and vice president of university affairs. These positions will be appointed by the president and a panel rather than elected to maintain unity with the “ideals of the president,” according to Vice President Miriam Hernandez.

The current vice president position will be called the executive vice president and the treasurer will be the vice president of finance. 

“Having elections for six executives would be really difficult to have, especially right now,” said Sen. and current ASI presidential candidate Marvin Flores at Wednesday’s meeting. “And these positions themselves are very distinct from the treasurer, vice president and president in regards that they deal with student constituents with the university affairs, government affairs and [academic] affairs.

“So we have students going into it who don’t really know what they’re going to be doing for that position, it can be very difficult for them to actually transition from doing one thing to doing something else … When you appoint someone to these positions, they know what they’ll be doing right off the bat instead of having to be trained for months on end.”

The new executive positions will receive the same compensation package as the president, vice president and treasurer, which includes tuition reimbursement and a monthly cost of living stipend.

The decision to reorganize came in part because of the proposal to change the executive pay policy from a “fellowship” to a “scholarship” to allow any student, regardless of citizenship status to be paid for their jobs in ASI, Hernandez said.

“When the conversation started about the payments for executives, we had to go back and see how much of a workload were the executives doing,” Hernandez said. “A lot of people were asking us, ‘Wow, you all get paid so much money. What do you do?’ So we sat down, the executive team, we essentially wrote down all the committees and different things that we do and then we realized that I sit on 18 committees and Jose sits on 23 and Wendy sits on 17. So we’re pulled in different directions.”

The idea of the reorganization is to “improve shared governance and student advocacy,” according to Hernandez.

In addition to the reorganization proposal, the Senate passed the second reading of the amendment to change the compensation of all ASI student officers from fellowships and stipends to scholarships. The third and final reading is set for the April 27 Senate meeting.

An earlier version of this story said that the executive vice president and the vice president of finance would be appointed by the president and panel. The executive vice president and the vice president of finance will still be elected and the three new vice president positions will be appointed.

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