ASI takes first steps in reforming senator positions for the future

Graphic provided by ASI

Senator for Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Anthony Camacho unveiled plans to restructure several Associated Students Inc. (ASI) senators to better facilitate the needs of students on campus.

Camacho called upon the Fresno State legal committee to draft and propose duties for each of the newly modified senators to later be reviewed and approved by the ASI senate. The proposed changes would take into effect during the 2021-2022 school year.

“Given the current structure of our senate, several of our senator-at-large positions have limitations and overlapping as well which has caused us to lose specialization in certain areas very important to students,” Camacho said.

Camacho, alongside Executive Vice President Hisham Qutob, proposed a resolution to modify the parking and safety; student clubs and organizations; resident affairs; and student affairs positions as the previous positions were rather vague in their responsibilities.

The proposed changes were designed to strengthen the preexisting senator at large positions to better reflect the growing needs of students at Fresno State.

The senator for parking and safety will now be known as the senator for health and wellness. Some of the new senator for health and wellness responsibilities include student health and wellness, safety, Title IX and students with disabilities.

The senator for student of clubs and organizations will be converted into the senator for campus innovation. The new position is slated to collaborate with technology services, innovation, the DISCOVERe Hub, The Collegian and other entities involved with technology at the university.

The senator of resident affairs is receiving a title modification to the senator of operations and resident affairs. With the title change comes new responsibilities such as collaboration with parking and facilities.

The senator for student affairs will be changed to the senator of student affairs and engagement.

“This was more of analyzing the future of ASI and seeing what areas we as student representatives can be focusing on and having new partnerships and establishing new representation in other areas,” Camacho said. 

Qutob highlighted the need for such changes as the pandemic exposed weaknesses in the previous senator at large positions. 

“[There are] areas we have been needing to better represent and have representation there and now with the pandemic and everything else it highlights it even more,” Qutob said.

Vice President of External Affairs Fidel Moreno-Meza appreciated the proposed change as he recalled confusion amongst senators in previous senate meetings as their responsibilities were vague and at times overlapping unintentionally.

“This restructure definitely allows for more clarification and expands some of those senator positions [and] their duties to do more and have more ideas,” Moreno-Meza said.

Senator for Craig School of Business Narek Khatchikian suggested that perhaps ASI should take the time to re-examine all ASI senator positions in addition to the proposed changes. 

Khatchikian said ASI should take this opportunity to define their roles better and restructure what they think their roles should cover. 

“I think having that clear definition would allow us to be more accountable for what we should accomplish in our roles as well,” he said.

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