Referendum may shorten A.S. senators’ terms

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Associate Students (A.S.) voted yesterday to adding a referendum to the upcoming spring elections ballot in March. If passed, the referendum would allow an appointed senator to serve for the semester they were appointed in and not for one consecutive year.

The referendum would be added to Article VI in the A.S. constitution under Vacancies, said David Crandall, the general manager of A.S.

Currently the senators who have been appointed can serve beyond a semester, said Crandall, and can be reappointed multiple times.

‘They can apply to be reappointed but the president doesn’t have to recommend them,’ said Andrew Collard of the Finance Committee. ‘If someone runs continuously in elections and never gets voted in, but only appointed, it raises a concern.’

According to the A.S. constitution, ‘In the event of vacancies in the Office of Vice President or Senate, the President shall appoint individual(s) to fill the vacancy (ies) for the unexpired term of office with a majority approval of the total voting membership of the Senate. This person shall be chosen from applications solicited for a period of not less than two weeks.’

Senator Able Pacheco suggested that there be a limit to the amount of times a senator can get reappointed.

‘If that was an issue then we could put a regulation on it,’ said Vice President of A.S. Nicole Umali.

There are a total of 27 senators, two of which have been appointed by A.S., with seven vacancies still needing to be filled.

The senators that were recently appointed this semester were Yasmin Nadershahi, in Science and Math I, and Cassaundra Rodriguez, in Social and Behavioral Science I.

‘The reason for this referendum being added to the ballot is because A.S. cannot change the constitution, only the students can change it,’ said Crandall.

‘We are doing this so we can enforce elections over appointments,’ said Collard. ‘This is to reinforce that people will be running for election in the semester rather than going through appointments.’

‘The goal of this referendum is to limit the senator’s term,’ said Umali. ‘We want to make it fair for all the students, if we have a bigger pool than we can choose from the cr’egrave;me de la cr’egrave;me.”

The reasons for vacancies in the senate vary, said Crandall. Often seats are empty because of transfers, change of major, resignation, early graduation or if they failed to maintain their eligibility, which would cause an empty seat for the remainder of their term.

‘After there is a vacancy there has to be a two-week application process that should be notified to all CSUN students, that way there will be more applicants,’ said Crandall.

After a long discussion and a recess period the senators were able to come to a decisicon and voted to add this referendum to the ballot with only one senator voting against this referendum.

Students can vote on this referendum during the upcoming spring elections March 24-25.