ASI Senate passes vote of no confidence against President Mitali Jain

California State University Long Beach’s Associated Students Inc. voted no confidence in Mitali Jain, ASI president, at a special meeting on March 29. According to Laura Butt, ASI Government Affairs Senior Coordinator, this is the first time a vote of no confidence has taken place.

As a result, a discussion of the possible recall election of Jain will take place at the next Senate meeting on April 10. Per Roberts Rules of Order, a vote of no confidence expresses, “[…] either its [ASI Senate] confidence or lack of confidence in any of its officers or subordinate boards or committees.”

A vote of no confidence is a motion expressing the Senate’s concerns but does not remove an officer from office. Under ASI Bylaws, a recall would mean another election would occur.

In a recall election, two-thirds of the voting students would have to favor Jain’s removal from office for her to be recalled.

Before voting no confidence, Vice President Teresa Falcon guided the conversation between the ASI Senate and Jain. Jain was allowed time to defend herself against the points made in a letter where the senate listed duties from the ASI bylaws they felt Jain failed to meet.

These duties include:

  1. Lack of initiative to execute legislation passed by the Senate
  2. Absence from six out of the 14 meetings where she is required to report
  3. Lack of information in said reports
  4. Lack of attendance at Lobby Corps and other committees
  5. Lack of involvement in the Business and Finance committee
  6. Disregard of the ASI Board of Directors’ concerns with President Jain’s selection for Chief Diversity Officer

In an interview before Friday’s special meeting, Falcon said her role was to make sure the conversation the senate was having was without personal bias and that decisions on the situation would be made as a group.

“It will be a board decision and we will come to that after several in-depth discussions,” Falcon said.

The no confidence vote was brought up as a discussion item during the weekly Senate meeting on March 27. Students and club members voiced their frustrations during that meeting and the special meeting on March 29.

Before Friday’s special meeting, Claire Pearson, College of Arts chair and vice chair of Senate said the Senate had heard lots of student frustration during public comment.

“It’s been made very clear by members of the student body who have come into public comment, that there is a lack of confidence in Associated Students Incorporated, and part of that does stem from electing executive officials who do not fulfill their campaign promises,” Pearson said.

3/28/24- Long Beach, Calif:
3/27/24- Long Beach, Calif: The gallery filled up quickly at Dr. Stuart L. Farber Senate Chambers on Wednesday's weekly meeting, mostly with people supporting the Vote of No Confidence against ASI President Mitali Jain. Senate had a second special meeting on Friday to make the Vote of Confidence an action item and discussed the possible recall for ASI President Jain. Photo credit: Samuel Chacko

During Jain’s allotted speaking time at Friday’s meeting, she listed legislations she had passed and how she had communicated absences to her advisors before they occurred. She said lack of details in her reports doesn’t equate to lack of work and the appointment of Chief Diversity Officer Fidel Vasquez was a decision made in collaboration with her committee.

The appointment of this officer was one of the complaints the Senate expressed during the meeting. Jain asked the Senate to reflect on the timing of the no-confidence vote and the contents with which the vote is being determined.

“I stand accused not of great misconduct or malfeasance, but of alleged shortcomings that have not been afforded the chance for correction or redemption,” Jain said. “I firmly believe that direct and firm communication regarding perceived shortcomings, well before this juncture, could have paved the way for growth. Not just for me as a leader, but for our student government as a whole.”

The ASI senate determined a vote of no confidence was needed to demonstrate to students that ASI will represent and reflect its student body’s voice. If students vote for Jain to be recalled, Falcon would perform the duties of the president with Pearson taking on the role of vice president.

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