Associated Students President Adam Haverstock, along with three other students, were named as finalists in the search for a California State University student trustee at the California State Student Association meeting at CSUN on Saturday.
Eight students from across the state applied for the position to represent CSU students at the statewide level. Six of the applicants qualified for the position and were interviewed in a closed session on Friday afternoon by 16 CSU A.S. presidents or other representatives selected by the A.S. presidents from the CSU’s 23 campuses.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo A.S. President Brandon Souza, a 23-year-old business major, said he was impressed by the high caliber of students in the CSU.
“It will be a tough choice to make that decision,” Souza said, but felt all four candidates would “do right by the students.”
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will ultimately appoint one of the candidates, which includes CSUN A.S. President Adam Haverstock, Curtis Grima, vice president for academic affairs at Sacramento State, Ryan Ward also of Sacramento State, and Felix Sergeants of San Francisco State.
Schwarzenegger can reject the candidates and not appoint anyone, as he did in May when he interviewed three other students for the position.
Joel Francis, vice chair of external affairs for CSSA and CSU Los Angeles A.S. president, chaired the Initial Review Board that organized the selection process and was told the candidates weren’t selected last time because the Governor’s Office was “looking for geographical diversity.”
Francis said many students from the Sacramento and Fresno area traditionally apply to be student trustees.
Two student trustees who sit on the CSU Board of Trustees meetings in which decisions affecting students are discussed and voted on. The student trustee term is for two years. Traditionally, the first year the position is non-voting and gains the right to vote during the second year.
Due to the current student trustee’s term ending in spring and the other student trustee position sitting vacant for more than a year, the appointed student will gain voting rights within only a few months.
Francis said the Initial Review Board will be accepting applications in January or February to have candidates ready to send to the Governor’s office in May to take the place of the outgoing student trustee.
This was the second time in four years CSUN has hosted the CSSA. About all 23 CSU campuses sent at least one representative, with CSU Maritime being the only campus that didn’t have a representative present. Overall, 80 students registered.
A.S. presidents or representatives of the 23 CSU campuses are to meet every month to discuss campus and statewide issues students are facing. CSU campuses are also supposed to pay annual dues. Monthly meetings often become a forum for a paying and non-paying dues debate between campuses.
Saturday’s Board of Directors meeting was also a forum for the disarray of the CSSA’s budget and a recent audit that didn’t fair well for CSSA. Also, students directed accusations of mismanagement at Executive Director Susana Gonzalez, a paid staff member.
Gonzalez confronted the issues during her report and said, “The accusation speaks to embezzlement and I have not embezzled.”
Gonzalez said she’s done nothing, but implement the policies approved by the board. The audit was clean and the board runs “a very transparent process,” Gonzalez said.
Francis said Gonzalez “does everything she can for the organization. She has some areas to improve, but can’t make changes. It’s the board’s decision.”
Francis said decisions are made with the board’s awareness, but students want to blame the budget problems on her.
Souza opened Saturday’s meeting during the public comments segment with comments of the audit. The audit showed the mismanagement of money and why Cal Poly San Luis Obispo doesn’t pay dues, Souza said.
“It is high time CSSA develops and sticks to a budget,” Souza said.
Souza said at the meeting on Sunday that he didn’t mean to point fingers, but the reserves account has been “depleted over six years. ”
Accounts that were budgeted for $46,000, $71,000 were spent, Souza said
Souza said, “We’re not in the business of making money, but we are obviously in the business of spending money.”
Gonzalez said alternative sources of revenue are being sought, including an agreement with GPA Media Company. For every notebook provided by GPA Media that CSU A.S. distributes to students, CSSA will receive $.25. This fall, $14,000 was earned and next semester 10 campuses will participate.
When Humboldt State University hosted the CSSA last month, CSU Dominguez Hills A.S. President Ifeanyi Egibo’s position on the CSSA Executive Board was brought to a recall vote. After a 10 -6 vote to turn down the recall, Ebigbo will keep his position as vice chair of internal affairs.
The recall was discussed for about three hours on Saturday afternoon by campus representatives. Of concern was Ebigbo’s alleged deficiencies in his job responsibilities, including that of overseeing the budget.
Egibo missed several meetings that CSSA Chair Dina Cervantes said were excused due to personal issues.
At the meetings Ebigbo had attended, he had trouble “staying conscious” or was seen falling asleep, Francis said.
asked what does that say