A.S. puts referendums on ballot

Daily Sundial

A passing vote from the Associated Students Senate on Tuesday will allow three referendums to be placed on the October A.S. election ballot.

The three referendums will, respectively, change the name of the A.S. Constitutional Affairs Board, make the renamed CAB’s decisions binding in the Senate, and create four new at-large senate seats.

Voting on the referendums was scheduled for the end of the meeting as part of unfinished business. During approval of the agenda, however, A.S. Vice President Safa Sajadi proposed a motion to push the referendum to the top of the agenda.

The motion was approved, and the floor was open for discussion about the proposed referendums.

“Remember we are voting to decide if students have the right to vote, not whether or not you fully agree or disagree (with each referendum),” Sajadi said. “It’s really important that we give this authority to the students.”

In contrast to the meeting two weeks prior, discussion about the referendums was limited.

The three referendums were grouped together as one action item and voted on by the senate. Only one senator abstained from voting while the majority voted in favor of the referendums. As a result, the referendums will be placed on the October ballot and will be voted on by the entire student body.

Following the vote, the president, vice president and members of the African Student Organization gathered to address the A.S. Senate in regards to the Finance Committee’s proposal to allocate $450 as funding for Africa Week scheduled for October 24-28.

“We take great pride in Africa Week,” said Marvin Boateng, ASO vice president. “What we’re trying to do is to surpass what we did last year. Four hundred and fifty dollars is not enough for a week of events.”

“We come here as ambassadors. We come here as representatives of the school,” said Francis Appiah, president of the ASO. “(During Africa Week) students get the opportunity to learn more about Africa from students who attend CSUN.”

When the motion to allocate the $450 to the ASO was presented for voting, Maria Rodriguez, Upper Division III senator, proposed an alternative motion and asked that $2,500 be allocated to the ASO for Africa Week activities.

The proposed allocation of $2,500 was called to a vote by the senate. The vote was unanimous in support of the allocation increase. Following the meeting, ASO president Appiah thanked the senators for their consideration.

Another action item up for vote proposed by the Finance Committee resulted in a showing of members from the African Student Organization to speak during the open form session of the meeting.

The A.S. Senate also heard a presentation from Harry Hellenbrand, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, in which he reiterated President Jolene Koester’s concern regarding academic advisement issues, and addressed possible future changes at CSUN.

In his presentation to the A.S. Senate, Hellenbrand expressed ongoing concern regarding the inadequacies of student advisement on the CSUN campus.

“We don’t do as well as we should for students who enter as freshman,” Hellenbrand said. “We lose the most students between their first and second year.”

According to Hellenbrand, committees are forming to explore the reasons for these issues, including one committee that will aim to find ways in which CSUN can improve the experience of freshmen and help them become more involved with the university.

Michael Salseda can be reached at michael.salseda@gmail.com.