New ASI members sworn in

This story is by contributing writer Michael Kincheloe:

The first meeting of Fresno State’s 2011-12 Associated Students, Inc. was held Wednesday, June 5 at the Smittcamp Alumni House.

The first item on the agenda was the installation ceremony, where ASI President Selena Farnesi and Vice President of Finance James Stinecipher were sworn in by Fresno County Superior Court Judge Robert H. Oliver.

Oliver, a Fresno State alumnus, then asked the new and returning members of the senate to form a semicircle, where they were sworn in as a group.

“Congratulations to you all,” Oliver said.

The selection of the new executive vice president came down to two senators at-large: ASI veteran Craig Parks and newcomer Fernando Moreno. Moreno began his presentation with an analogy between an old toothbrush and a new one and a veteran member and a new member of ASI.

“My mother told me, even though you may really like something a lot,” Moreno said. “There’s times when that thing needs to be replaced with something totally new.”

Both candidates showcased their qualifications with PowerPoint presentations. At one point, Moreno attempted to paint Parks as an elitist who would give preferential treatment to a returning senator over a less experienced one.

“Corruption!” murmured Fresno State alumnus Hector Cerda from the gallery.

Parks’ presentation revealed a long list of accomplishments during his time with ASI.

“I’m ready to go from day one,” Parks said.

Senator at-Large Jose Nava asked Parks why funding for Lobby Corps, which among other things pays for voter registration drives and busing protesting students to Sacramento, saw its $10,000 allotment substantially cut for the 2011-12 school year. Parks answered that there was a superfluous amount originally allotted for Lobby Corps, and since there was no election this fall and therefore no need for a voter registration drive, he felt that the money could have been better used elsewhere.

“Lobby Corps has never come close to needing $10,000,” Senator at-Large Sean Kiernan, a previous member of the finance committee, said. “The finance committee considered giving some of it to the Maddy Institute.”

The Maddy Institute influences young people to get involved with politics.

A voice vote was called for from each senator. When the votes were tallied, Parks was chosen as the new executive vice president by a three-vote margin. He took his seat with the executives and was presented with the gavel by outgoing executive vice president Farnesi.

Maddie Maximo, Senator for the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and an agribusiness major, was chosen ASI speaker over two challengers.

Natalie Bachicha, Senator for the College of Arts and Humanities and a classical studies major, was chosen as chair of the personnel committee.

Rebecca Rosengarten, a junior majoring in business, was chosen to be the senate secretary.

The next ASI meeting will be June 15 at the University Student Union.

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