During its Aug. 6 meeting, the Associated Students Inc. (ASI) Board of Directors approved the appointment of Janidu Goonatilaka as the officer of internal affairs. Board members also began the process of ASI internal committee appointments via senator nominations.
After being recommended to the board by ASI President Lucy Yu, Goonatilaka’s appointment followed a similar path to the previous cabinet-level recommendations—a unanimous approval from the board members.
The internal affairs position was the subject of recent administrative changes within ASI. Last year, the internal affairs role was a secretary-level responsibility—like the external affairs and basic needs position. However, following unanimous approval from the board last semester, the ASI By-Laws were amended and the internal affairs position became the officer role that it is today.
In an executive summary authored by then-ASI attorney general Manshaan Singh, this change was made because “(the secretary of internal affairs’) specific function was ill-defined.”
Singh, now the ASI vice president and a fourth-year environmental biology student, has elaborated on the rationale for the change by stating that the secretary of internal affairs was previously not tasked with chairing a committee—a standard responsibility for the other secretary positions.
With this procedural reform, Goonatilaka will now be the student government’s “organizer for new projects and initiatives and assists the ASI President,” according to ASI’s Cabinet Code. Additionally, he will oversee the ASI Bronco Associated Student Experience Program.
The same document outlines more of the officer’s responsibilities with most of them being dependent on the timely needs of other student leaders, such as performing duties assigned by the ASI president, assisting other members of the ASI Cabinet and taking charge of any urgent responsibilities of unfilled cabinet positions until they are filled.
Goonatilaka was not available for comment in time for publication.
In addition to Goonatilaka’s appointment, another facet of ASI’s internal structuring ahead of the fall semester began in the process of appointment to ASI committees.
Singh began the process by first explaining the function of the internal committees that board members could be nominated to serve in and specifically how many senators were needed for each committee.
The limitation on the number of senators that will be appointed to each committee resulted in an even split of safe and competitive elections.
The seemingly safe committee elections are to the Finance Committee, Human Resources Committee and the Rules and Policies Committee—where the number of board members needed for each committee matched the numbers that were nominated.
For the Finance Committee that requires three senator appointments, the nominees are Collins College Senator Ian Whalen, Greek Council Senator-At-Large Hillary Deleon and Agriculture Senator Delilah Orta.
The Human Resources Committee requires only one board member appointment, leaving Science Senator Marc Leon, the only nominee, likely to be approved.
The nominations for the Rules and Policies Committee, also requiring three senator appointments, are College of Education and Integrative Studies Senator Priscilla Muños, College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences Senator Henry Ly, and Inter-Hall Council Senator-At-Large Prabhat Jammalamadaka.
However, more competition is expected in the elections to the Basic Needs Committee, the Facilities & Operations Committee and the Governmental Affairs Committee due to there being one nominee in each of those committees that will not be appointed.
For the Basic Needs Committee, which requires two senator appointments, the nominees are Orta, Whalen and Muños.
The Facilities and Operations Committee, requiring three board appointments, has Leon, Deleon, Engineering Senator Araz Madenlian and Business Senator Ravina Soma as its nominees.
The final competitive committee appointment is for the Governmental Affairs Committee, which requires three senator appointments. The nominees are Madenlian, Jammalamadaka, Ly and Muños.
Internal elections are expected to take place during the board’s Aug. 13 meeting.
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/.