ASI Board of Directors approves new budget guidelines, prepares to elect senator pro-tempore

The Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Board of Directors convened on June 11 for their second meeting with the newly elected members. The board unanimously approved new guidelines that spell some changes for clubs and other organizations that request ASI funds and nominated fellow board members to serve a supplemental role as senator pro-tempore.

With 11 affirmative votes, the board formally adopted the new Budget Guidelines and Stipulations to replace the previous procedural documents that had been approved in 2018.

The new guidelines will affect the groups and organizations currently eligible for ASI funding which include registered student clubs and councils, recognized heritage programs and ASI departments.

ASI Vice President Manshaan Singh, a fourth-year environmental biology student, discussed the motivations behind the new guidelines. “The changes to the guidelines and stipulations is a conversation that started under last year’s administration,” Singh explained. “Others and myself within student government were discussing removing the 20 percent fundraising guideline which had clubs fundraise 20 percent of their allocated funds in order to receive all of it. It was also noticed that the document was very long and specific and kind of hard to read which resulted in the new format.”

“ASI Vice President ‘Manshaan Singh’ introduces the four nominees vying for the senator pro-tempore position”
(Courtesy of ASI)

In addition to the removal of required fundraising, changes to the guidelines include an increased distribution of ASI funds from councils to student clubs going from 75 percent to 85 percent beginning in 2021. This exempts newly formed clubs from having to request funds from their council before going directly to ASI and changing the name of ‘mid-year budget requests’ to ‘additional budget requests’, as now the requests are not limited to the middle of the year.

In addition to these changes, more specific rules about the use and restrictions of ASI funds will be moved to the organization’s Smart Spending Manual. According to Singh, this would make the budget guidelines “more policy-based than procedure-based.” The Smart Spending Manual can be found on the ASI Financial Services website.

Board approval of the new document was originally scheduled to take place during the final meeting of the previous administration on May 7; however, the last meeting was canceled prompting the new board to take over the recommendation’s final approval, and making this the first approved action item for the new board.

During the meeting, the board also began the procedure to elect a new senator pro-tempore.

According to ASI By-Laws, the position of senator pro-tempore is filled by a majority of the board of directors electing an already-serving senator. The position’s responsibilities include being the vice chair of the Board of Directors meetings and, due to an approved change of by-laws last semester, being the chair of the Facilities and Operations Committee. The senator pro-tempore is also third in ASI’s line of succession should there be simultaneous vacancies in the ASI president and vice president positions.

Four senators were nominated for the position: Inter-Hall Council Senator-At-Large Prabhat Jammalamadaka, College of Education and Integrative Studies (CEIS) Senator Priscilla Muñoz, Student Interest Council Senator-At-Large Susana Delgadillo and Greek Council Senator-At-Large Hillary Deleon.

Each nominee provided a brief speech as to why they should be elected to the position.

Jammalamadaka, a second-year political science student, appealed to the board mainly on the perspective he brings to ASI as a new student leader. “I want to be pro-temp because I’m relatively younger and relatively new to the game, so I can bring that zeal to the position and help create legacies and push forth other legacies already set in motion.”

Muñoz, a transfer student majoring in gender, ethnicity and multicultural studies, pitched herself as qualified to advocate for a variety of CPP students. Muñoz touted her previous experience as the CEIS Council president and said that she will act to ensure that “all identities are validated on campus” through support for student parents, transfer students, the Poly Pantry and the cultural centers.

Delgadillo, a fourth-year business administration student, spoke highly of her experience within ASI mainly as the previous Inter-Hall Council senator. While promoting her knowledge of how to navigate student government, Delgadillo also discussed the opportunity for “change and growth” with a new board and a desire to strengthen cross-campus relationships with organizations such as the Educational Opportunity Program and the Title IX office.

Deleon, a third-year business administration student, made her case by marketing her organizational skills to the board and the relationships that she has built with students of all majors throughout campus. In addition, Deleon also stated that even during the pandemic, she would seek campus unity to strengthen a sense of community, “(creating) a better community and campus as a whole.”

With the nominees’ appeals finished, Singh urged the rest of the board to carefully consider who they would like to take over the senator pro-tempore position and announced that the election would take place during the next meeting.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 18 at 3 p.m. The agenda, minutes and Zoom link for previous and upcoming Board of Directors meetings can be found at https://asi.cpp.edu/student-government/meetings/board-of-directors/

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