Mason, Flores resign from office

ASI president and executive vice president stepped down on Monday

File photo by Bryan Cole / The Collegian

ASI President Mackee M. Mason and Executive Vice President Sandra Flores resigned from office Monday Oct. 6.

The two former executives were not at the special Senate meeting Tuesday night, but members of the Senate read Mason’s and Flores’ letters of resignation, making the announcement public.

Both executives said in their letters that, due to recent events, they have been unable to fulfill their duties as members of ASI and as students.

The Senate put Mason and Flores on probation on Sept. 15 in connection with the violation of the “substance free pledge” being broken at an ASI retreat in July. The two former executives are also involved in a lawsuit against ASI and the California State University, Fresno, Association, Inc. claiming wrongful termination of the former ASI executive director.

File photo by Bryan Cole / The Collegian

Craig Parks, senator-at-large, read Mason’s letter, and Alex Andreotti, senate secretary, read Flores’ letter.

Mason stated in his letter: “Recent events have taken away from what we are trying to achieve. As a result, it has made it impossible for me to continue to be productive as president.”

Mason’s letter continued, stating that he did not violate ASI bylaws or policies. He said that he paid back the charges of alcohol on his ASI credit card and “acknowledged, apologized for, and repaired the mistakes.”

Mason’s letter went on to say that he felt the probation issued by the Senate was suitable for his mistake and that the situation was used to attack him personally.

Mason said in his letter that it has become too difficult to perform his job as a student and as a student leader.

“These recent weeks have caused me to fall behind in school and I need to reprioritize what is significant in my life and get back on track with what matters most,” Mason said.

Flores said in her letter that her most important role is that of a student.

“These situations have not been conducive to my health or my ability to be a student-leader and a student,” Flores said in her letter.

She also said in her letter that despite the success she has had in office, the situation has held her back from doing her full duties.

“Sadly, I cannot disclose full information about my experiences in ASI over the past few months, which has led me to not be able to fulfill my duties as a student and as an executive,” Flores said.

The petition that was supposed to be presented at last week’s Senate meeting was submitted yesterday. A group of students collected 488 signatures requesting the removal of Mason and Flores.

Hector Cerda, a social work graduate student, presented the petition to the Senate before the announcement of Mason and Flores’ resignations were made.

“The action to put them on probation is not sufficient,” Cerda said. “We think that there should be stronger actions taken. They should be removed immediately.”

After the meeting, Cerda said he was not expecting the executives to resign.

“Had I known, I would have saved my breath,” Cerda said. “However, i think it is still important that our student body, the Senate, understands how a lot of us feel.”

Joshua Cranston, sociology major, said he was pleased with the resignation.

“I guess they resigned, but they still are doing what the students wanted and that’s what they’re supposed to do,” Cerda said.

Jamie Ruddy, senator for the College of Science and Mathematics, chaired last night’s meeting. She said that senators who wish to fill the open positions can apply. The Senate will review their applications and vote new executives into office.

The bylaws state “the successor must be a current member of the Student Senate in good standing at the time of the vacancy and shall be approved by a simple majority of the present eligible voting members of the Senate.”

Ruddy also said that the university is continuing to work with the Senate on reviewing the financial documents and bylaws.

“The university is going to keep working with us to make sure everything that we are already working on in the ASI office continues to keep going and we’re still working for students,” Ruddy said.

Read Mackee Mason’s and Sandra Flores’ letters of resignation. (PDF format)
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