At Wednesday’s Associated Students, Inc (ASI) meeting there were new and missing faces.
The senate affirmed Vice President Alex Andreotti’s recommendation of Patrick Simon to be the new senator for the school of social sciences, replacing Jamie San Andres who recently resigned her post.
An official statement from ASI president Jessica Sweeten cited scheduling conflicts as the reason for San Andres’ resignation.
San Andres was unavailable for comment.
Simon is a political science major and an employee at the Henry Madden Library. In the meeting he expressed eagerness to step in and represent his school. Simon said he hopes to increase graduation rates, work with the dean to promote multicultural education and take part in community service as well.
“I wanted to join the student senate because this year, I’ve had tremendous drive to become more involved on this campus to make a difference,” Simon said in an e-mail interview. “I am also involved and hold two positions in the brand new fraternity, Phi Delta Theta.”
According to ASI bylaws, the vice president has two weeks to appoint senate replacements, and it is then presented to the senate to cast a vote. The motion to appoint Simon was passed and he was immediately placed on the senate with full senate privileges.
Only attending briefly as a visitor was Sen. Cesar Sanchez, who was notified 90 minutes before the meeting that he was officially ruled ineligible through a memo he received from Andreotti. The reason was he had too many units.
The ASI bylaws states in Article 1V section 1.2 that members must “satisfy the eligibility and qualification requirements established by the Chancellor of the [California State University].” This refers to California State Student Association (CSSA) student government rules, which state: “undergraduates are allowed to earn a maximum of 150 semester units or 125 percent of the units required for a specific baccalaureate … whichever is greater.”
Sanchez, who is a double major, currently holds 159 units and already holds a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship, but is working toward acquiring a second degree.
Sanchez said this is unfair, since he is a double-major student.
“This is hurting students who are trying to achieve above average, for those who are attempting to acquire a second degree,” Sanchez said.
Two weeks ago, Sanchez sent a letter to President John Welty regarding his pursuit of candidacy for the vice president of finance position for the 2010-2011 school year. ASI advisor Gary Nelson notified Sanchez that he was both ineligible for the vice president position and to remain senator of the Craig School of Business due to the number of units he had completed.
According to Sanchez, Nelson advised him to speak to Vice President of Student Affairs Paul Oliaro regarding the appeals process. Oliaro advised Sanchez to write a letter of appeals to Welty if he wished to contest the ruling, once he was officially notified that he was deemed ineligible.
Nelson said, in an e-mail interview, that there have been extenuating circumstances in the past for bending eligibility rules.
“Under extraordinary circumstances the campus president may make an exception to the requirements for unit load, maximum allowable units, residency or GPA,” Nelson said in an e-mail interview.
Oliaro reiterated that each request to appeal the CSSA rule is considered on a case-by-case basis.
“The student needs to make their own case and provide reasons why their circumstances – often related to their educational goals or circumstances that are way beyond their control – should be considered for an exception,” Oliaro said in an e-mail interview.