Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia was in attendance for the final Associated Students Inc. Senate meeting Wednesday to commemorate ASI Executive Director Richard Haller, who is leaving Long Beach State after 36 years of employment.
Garcia presented Haller with an official proclamation from the city of Long Beach, honoring his years of service to LBSU and the greater Long Beach community. Garcia is himself a graduate of LBSU and served as ASI President in 2000. Garcia spoke in length of the time he spent working with Haller at ASI.
“I think the only time I ever cried at school was in Richard’s office,” Garcia said to laughter from the audience. “I don’t know if you remember, Richard.”
“Oh, I remember,” Haller interjected.
The visit was part of an eventful, and at times emotional, final meeting for the current ASI Senate. The Senators gave final approval the organization’s budget for the 2019-20 school year, and the ASI executive branch members each gave reports summarizing their time spent in office.
President Genesis Jara focused her report on the accomplishments during her time in office, while making clear that no student government leader is able to achieve all of their goals in the time frame of a single year. Nevertheless, Jara believed that the ability to make a difference was the job’s most rewarding aspect.
“I’ve never looked at leadership through the lens of leaving a personal legacy,” Jara said. “I believe in the philosophy of servant leadership, and I hope that I’ll be remembered for the changes I was able to impact for students on campus.”
Vice President Almahdi echoed many of these themes in her own report, noting that while she came into office with a list of over 20 goals, she had to re-adjust her focus heading into her second semester in the position. Yet she still had notable achievements to her name, such as work on the mascot search and the newly established Students of Color conference.
Almahdi closed out the meeting with words of gratitude for her partner in the executive branch.
“In particular, I want to recognize Genesis for her consistent support throughout this year,” Almahdi said. “Often times, when there was no one else who could support me, Genesis always had her office door open. I don’t think I could’ve made it through the year without her.”