By Nadia Urbina, Oct. 12, 2021

The ASI Board of Directors unanimously voted to remove the sitting Inter-Hall Council senator and approved the appointment of computer engineering student Kevin Jackson as the ASI officer of technology during its Oct. 7.

In a 9-0 vote, the board approved the motion to remove Inter-Hall Council Sen. Dammien Navarro due to his absences from student government meetings. ASI tried to contact Navarro’s council but did not obtain a response from the senator.

In an email to The Poly Post, Navarro stated he had chosen another opportunity prior to being part of the ASI board.

According to ASI Vice President Derek Sweem, the process to appoint a new IHC senator is already underway.

“IHC does have other people that applied to the position; their information has been given to Inter-Hall Council before they appointed Dammien to the role,” Sweem said. “They will be tasked with appointing a new senator, and I believe ASI staff will be reaching out shortly to the applicants that passed verification eligibility.”

During the meeting, the board also unanimously voted to approve ASI President Prabhat Jammalamadaka’s appointment of Kevin Jackson as the ASI officer of technology.

“This position is relatively new; we actually added it to our cabinet code last year,” said Jammalamadaka. “Right now, we are basically trying to find out what is a perfect fit and what is the job scope. Eventually, we are going to have the current officer, Kevin, come up with a guideline or something that he is doing with his position and eventually adapt it in the future years.”

Jackson was inspired to apply for the position due to his academic and social experiences and revelations he experienced during the pandemic.

“Coming back to campus I wanted to fulfill some desires that I’ve always had to try new things and to take advantage of the last semester, and now the last year that I have on campus,” Jackson said.

According to ASI’s most recent cabinet code, approved in May, the ASI officer of technology is considered student government’s “lead advocate for student-friendly technology” and the primary liaison between student government and the university’s IT division.

One of Jackson’s goals in the new position is to provide a smooth transfer back to campus for students. This comes after the Office of the Provost announced via a campus-wide email sent Oct. 7 that the university is planning on 77% of spring 2022 including an in-person component.

“Right now, it’s a 50-50; a lot of people are still online and during the time of the pandemic there was a lot of different issues with professors and students trying to understand Zoom and trying to understand how these new technologies work,” said Jackson. “This semester with Canvas, that’s a whole new thing that’s different from Blackboard. These are things I feel that the student body needs to be more informed about. I think anything that can solve technology needs, whether that’s internet, devices, whether that’s how to use a new platform that we have. That is one of my goals: to just help.”

The next ASI Board of Directors Meeting will be held Oct. 26. Previous meeting agendas and minutes can be found on ASI’s website.

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