By Joshua Hernandez, Oct. 5, 2021

The Sept. 23 ASI Board of Directors meeting discussed a string of absences by one of its sitting senators, as well as updates regarding the Class Pass program and the current finances of ASI.

The senator in question, Dammien Navarro, was first appointed to represent the Inter-Hall Council on Sept. 3. His scheduling conflicts became known to ASI Vice President Derek Sweem via phone call on Sept. 11. Navarro could not be reached by The Poly Post before deadline.

During his time as a senator, Navarro was absent from ASI student government events three times: First was an orientation with Student Government Assistant Lauren Simon on Sept. 7, second was a board of directors meeting on Sept. 9 and third was a meeting held Sept. 17 to discuss his scheduling conflicts.

Navarro was also unresponsive to ASI’s attempts to reach him via email, with the only successful attempt being the phone call.

Sweem said if Navarro attended his Sept. 17 meeting, they could have discussed options to address the conflicts, such as a formal resignation to free up the IHC senator position and applying for a student-at-large position if Navarro still wanted to be involved in student government.

“Nobody did anything wrong; school and work come first,” Sweem said. “We understand that, and so we wanted to offer an alternative.”

According to Associate Director for Student Government Ashley Lauren Joseph, if the board votes at the next meeting to remove Navarro, she and the IHC president will send out new applications for the IHC senator position.

“It doesn’t happen often, but like Derek said, the student needs to know school and work for a lot of students comes first,” Joseph said. “And we totally understand that, but we also want students to have representation from this area.”

In compliance with ASI Bylaws and due process, Navarro will be afforded a public hearing at the next board meeting, which will include a vote to determine if he is removed from his position.

Also during the meeting, Danny Wu, executive director of Transportation & Planning, delivered a presentation with preliminary data of the two-year Class Pass pilot program launched at the start of this semester.

According to Cal Poly Pomona’s preliminary data, 1,294 total Class Passes were distributed as of Sept. 17.

In a survey conducted by the university, a sample of 1,158 students were asked how they heard about Class Pass, with 60.10% citing emails sent by Student Affairs, 13.2% citing social media and 12.1 citing word of mouth.

As for next steps, Wu said Transportation & Planning will continue to monitor and evaluate the pilot program and work to spread the word among the students.

“We’ll be working on a financial plan as we collect the data and assess the usage, because after the pilot period, the program will need to find a long-term, stable funding source to continue the program,” said Wu.

Wu added the university will work to improve bus servicing, namely by rerouting the Silver Streak line to stop on campus and by trying to implement a Bronco Mobility Hub which will converge several bus lines on campus. The proposed hub would ease students’ transport to and from campus.

In other business, ASI Chief Financial Officer Carol Lee gave a presentation explaining how ASI reserves are determined, stating reserves are unspent revenue accumulated, much like a person’s net worth, and said reserves were used to sustain ASI operations, cover unforeseen emergency costs, strategic programs and capital investments.

During the open forum session, ASI Treasurer Eric Gonzalez delivered the ASI financial summary as of July 31, stating revenues are at $61,772, expenditures are at $511,088, total investments are at $31.8 million and total reserves are at $25.8 million.

The next ASI Board of Directors Meeting will be held on Oct. 7. Previous meeting agendas and minutes can be found on the student government website.

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