The Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Board of Directors opted to fast-track the approval of three prominent positions in the organization’s cabinet during the board’s June 25 meeting. With a unanimous 10-0 vote tally, the board confirmed the appointments of Clayton Kusayanagi as treasurer, Mathew Jacobson as attorney general and Alex Carcamo as secretary of external affairs.
Originally a discussion item, the approval of these three nominations was expedited and voted on as an action item within the same meeting.
The norm in board meetings is for items to be introduced initially as discussion items and in a later meeting, usually the following week, be put up for a vote. “Robert’s Rules of Order,” a parliamentary manual that outlines this procedure, has been suspended previously by the board to expedite certain items, but this is the first time it has been suspended by the recently-elected members.
ASI Vice President Manshaan Singh, a fourth-year environmental biology student, explained his rationale for suggesting the expedition of these positions that he classified as “pretty necessary for operations” saying that ASI President Lucy Yu and himself have “been spread pretty thin.”
Yu, a fourth-year hospitality management student provided further insight into the importance of filling the three positions.
“Attorney general and treasurer are both part of our executive team which is crucial to the work we do in fiduciary business and legalities during board meetings,” Yu said. “The secretary of external affairs is crucial due to the work that must be done now at the state level through the California State Student Association (CSSA) and preparing for an active summer and fall as it relates to voter registration, legislative changes, and the 2020 national election.”
Yu also noted that despite the procedural agility, applications for these and other cabinet-level positions have been open since the end of last semester’s elections and interviews of candidates have been occurring since June 1.
For Kusayanagi, a fourth-year finance, real estate and law student, the opportunity to enact change on campus attracted him to serving on the ASI cabinet.
“As a student, I can see things in a different perspective and this brings in a whole new dynamic. I am coming into my last year as a Bronco and I felt that I was ready and had the experience and the maturity to apply for a prestigious position on the ASI cabinet.”
Kusayanagi also stated that he would like to use his experience with finance to serve the student body. “My biggest goal would (be) to try to make students have to pay the least amount for ASI related things. I know that being a college student is stressful and putting financial burdens on top of that makes it even worse,” Kusayanagi said. “My second goal would be to provide a resource in some aspect to educate students on their finances and help them plan for life after college. Some of the topics I have in mind range from how to files taxes to how to start a retirement account.”
According to ASI’s by-laws, the treasurer is the fourth highest ASI executive student leader and serves as chair of the ASI Finance Committee. In this role, Kusayanagi will have mostly budgetary responsibilities such as monitoring the organization’s funds, processing budget requests from clubs and other organizations, drafting the annual ASI budget and presenting the budget to the board, the ASI president and the university’s chief financial officer through various stages of approval.
Jacobson, a fourth-year civil engineering student who previously served as the president of Cal Poly Pomona’s American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) chapter, intends to bring this experience of serving students to ASI.
“Throughout my time in ASCE, I have worked to represent students in our department through a myriad of difficulties, including semester conversion, club representation, and student resources,” he said, “In the spring I decided to run for ASI Engineering Senator and while I did not win I still wanted to use the skills I had developed in ASCE for the betterment of our students. I determined that the ASI Attorney General position would be the best use of the skill set I had developed as an engineer.”
Now approved for the position, Jacobson points to student affairs, academic success and civic engagement as the areas he would prioritize. For student affairs, he seeks to engage students “so they can develop a sense of belonging even while not on campus.” In the realm of academic success, Jacobson hopes to create awareness of academic resources “especially (for) freshmen and transfers” as the university prepares for the continuation of virtual instruction. When it comes to civic engagement, Jacobson stated, “I want to make sure that ASI helps amplify student voices and concerns for the campus and within their local communities. Everything from Black Lives Matter to Election Year 2020 to DACA, and so much more, there are many areas of concern impacting students every day.” He also added that “standing in solidarity” and supporting students in these and other causes is the “minimum” the ASI and the university can do.
The attorney general, ASI’s fifth-highest executive student leader, serves both as the chair of the ASI Rules and Policies Committee and parliamentarian for the ASI Board of Directors and ASI cabinet. Jacobson is now tasked with reviewing changes to ASI by-laws or to club charters, assigning clubs to respective ASI councils and ensuring that ASI maintains compliance with its own policies as well as relevant state and federal law are among some of his responsibilities.
Carcamo, a fourth-year political science student, attributed his interest in joining student government to his friends and classmates.
“This led me to develop an interest and desire to get involved myself. When researching the different positions, secretary of external affairs caught my attention because the position requires knowledge of the legislative process and the ability to be an effective advocate for the students at Cal Poly Pomona,” Carcamo said.
Noting that 2020 is an election year, Carcamo highlighted voter registration among CPP students as a top priority. “Voting is the most effective way to enable change and to advocate for the community’s needs. Students need to know that there are more positions than just the presidency up for grabs. Local elections are just as important and that is something that I hope to exemplify.” He also included advocacy for students on the California legislature as a priority noting that legislation “with the goal of helping students…must be all-inclusive and truly satisfy the urgent needs of our student body.”
As the secretary of external affairs, Carcamo will serve as the chair of the ASI Governmental Affairs Committee and the primary liaison to the university’s Office of Governmental and External Affairs. According to ASI’s most recent cabinet code, other responsibilities include: serving as a secondary representative to the CSSA and creating reports and other documents concerning “political topics” as they relate to CPP, the California State University system and public higher education generally.
With the approval of Kusayanagi and Jacobson to their positions and the prior election of Student Interest Council Senator-At-Large Susana Delgadillo as senator pro-tempore, Yu and Singh have now successfully filled all the executive student leader positions.
Carcamo is the first of the rest of the cabinet to be appointed, with eight more cabinet-level positions still vacant—consisting of two secretary positions, five officer positions and the elections chair.
Yu noted that these vacant positions are still up for grabs for students interested. Further information on these positions and the application can be found at https://asi.cpp.edu/student-government/opportunities/appointed-positions/
“We are actively looking for students who possess leadership qualities, understand the importance of advocating and transparency, in addition to the value of working as a team to create social change,” Yu stated.
With 40 applications received as of June 26, Yu hopes for “a proactive summer of appointments.”
The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 2 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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