Associated Students opens semester with Senate meeting

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The first Associated Students Senate meeting of the semester took place Aug. 30 as the body approved $2,500 in funding and the nomination of three senators to various A.S. committees.

A.S. President Chad Charton opened the meeting with a welcome back greeting. A line of students spoke on behalf of Movimiento Estudiante Chicano/a de Atzlan, which made the $800 budget request for an event called End Dependence Day, scheduled for Sept. 16.

Senator Maria Rodriguez, a member of M.E.Ch.A. and chair of the A.S. Academic Affairs Committee, strongly urged the budget request’s passage due to the lack of funds available in the M.E.Ch.A treasury.

Another M.E.Ch.A. member in attendance said the organization is nearly bankrupt, and that there are not enough funds to promote the upcoming event, which advocates cultural involvement. Rodriguez then produced a preliminary bill statement for the general expenses of the event to give the senate a better picture of the event’s needs.

Rodriguez requested $150 for fundraising activities, $300 for advertising and promotions and $250 for supplies.

Final results were 2 opposed, 13 approved and 4 abstained. As in most cases, majority won and the body approved the total allocation of $2,500 to M.E.Ch.A for their activities and event, more than the initially proposed $800. Safa Sajadi, A.S. vice president, said, it is going to take more than a few hundred dollars to keep M.E.Ch.A going.

There were also announcements about vacant seats in A.S. Peter Gallego was confirmed as the A.S. director of legislative affairs. Further down the agenda was the nomination of Senator Asusena Castaneda, Health and Human Development II, to the Children’s Center; Victor Cervantes, Engineering and Computer Science II, to the A.S. Finance Committee; and Adam Salgado, Upper Division Senator Seat I, to the Constitutional Affairs Board.

The deep concern for vacancies, however, resounded throughout the University Student Union Grand Salon, and there were some unhappy faces.

“You could do a lot better,” said Hamid Jahangard, A.S. attorney general, as he spoke to the board members about recruitment.

“We’re counting on much of your services to help us,” said David Crandall, general manager of A.S. “And I’m concerned that we don’t have any members passing on the message. I’m concerned we have few chairs.”

Crandall stressed the importance of communication, and he said he felt the senators are not doing enough to reach out to their community.

“I know it’s like preaching to the choir, but there needs to be more involvement,” Crandall said.

Terry Piper, vice president of Student Affairs, and William Watkins, associate vice president of Student Affairs, also spoke at the meeting, encouraging A.S. leaders to market themselves wisely and to seek out the resources necessary to become successful in their academic goals.

The next A.S. meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Jelly Mae Jadraque can be reached at jelly.mae.quilantang.jadraque@csun.edu.