Associated Students, Inc. met last Wednesday to discuss new bylaw changes that include adding another executive position to ASI. This proposed new position would be the vice president of external affairs. However, it is not known whether it would be a paid executive position.
The vice president of external affairs will be responsible for handling outside media relations and community relations between ASI and the Fresno community.
Senators and executives extensively discussed whether Fresno State students should vote on approving another executive position or leaving the decision to ASI.
ASI President Selena Farnesi said that if the vote on the change passes, there will be a referendum election and it would either be held in January or concurrent to the March election.
Farnesi also discussed the benefits and disadvantages for both options and how it would affect students and ASI.
“We have to allow the student body to give us their opinion and vote on whether or not they support the new changes to the bylaws,” Farnesi said as she explained the issue to ASI senators during the meeting.
The January election will cost approximately $1,200. Because of the time frame, Farnesi said students likely would not have enough time to gain complete knowledge about the new position.
An election in March would bring no additional costs and would give students more time to learn information about the new position. The disadvantage of this option is that students would run for the new executive position without knowing if the position would be available.
Senator Brandi Jacobs, representing the College of Social Sciences, said he believes students have the right to make the decision.
“This is a rare opportunity where students have the option of having their voice heard and it is our job to give them a chance to speak because we are representing them,” Jacobs said.
Senators were heard from both sides of the argument and after fully discussing the matter, the vote was passed to let Fresno State students have the ability to vote on whether they approve the addition of another paid executive position. An additional election will be held in January.
One of the concerns of some senators was the possibility of having additional costs for the election in January. Others were not as concerned about the additional costs if it meant that the new position would have a representative that would be committed to the student body.
Amy Anton, a recreation administration student, said she is glad to hear the vote passed and feels that students do have the right to make the decision.
“It’s our school and we pay tuition to study here so we should have a say in who gets elected or not,” Anton said.
ASI members also briefly discussed the merging of the Colleges of Science and Mathematics into the College of Agricultural Sciences.
The next ASI meeting is scheduled for Jan. 18 of next year. ASI meets every other Wednesday at 4 p.m. in USU 312-314.
Farnesi added that if there is a separate election in January and if it did not pass, ASI would have time to remove the changes from the bylaws in time for the March elections.