CPP’s ASI Vice President resigns before vote for removal due to allegations of misconduct

Reyes Navarrete and Christian Park-Gastelum, May 17, 2024

Cal Poly Pomona’s Associated Student Inc. Vice President Naman Pandadiya resigned from his position minutes before the vote for his removal during the last Board of Directors meeting May 16 via Zoom.

In the last BOD meeting held May 9, members voted for an additional meeting to discuss Pandadiya’s removal from his position based on alleged misconduct and failing to perform his duties as vice president.

Pandadiya, a graduating senior, was absent from the scheduled May 16 BOD meeting, issuing his letter of resignation during the start of the meeting via email. Pandadiya’s absence halted the board from discussing the allegations outlined in their letter of Justification for Removal of ASI’s Vice President 2023-2024.

He was last present at a BOD meeting April 18. His whereabouts were not communicated with the senators, leaving them surprised to hear of his immediate resignation during the May 16 discussion of his removal.

The resignation letter was attached to an email sent to Ginny Templeton, director of organizational effectiveness; Liz Rooser Miller, executive director; and James Rocker, associate director of student government & club services.

Faculty advisers could not disclose the resignation letter to the public nor board members as it was deemed confidential.

Ten  board members drafted the letter of justification for removal of Pandadiya, a letter which all board members would have received May 14, according to Megan Shadrick, senator-at-large of the Student Interest Council.

The point of discussion of the vice president’s removal became no longer relevant, since Pandadiya resigned at the start of the meeting.

With Pandadiya no longer a member of the board, the senators were prohibited on discussing the actions the former vice president is accused of. Senators felt it was necessary to the senators discuss the matters publicly.

“We want to talk about maybe how to prevent this in the future, but that comes with reading the letter and only four directors have it,” Shadrick said during the meeting. “If we can’t publicly discuss it, then  in my opinion, there is no point in having a meeting, but it needs to be said.”

As reported by the participating board members in their letter, Pandadiya allegedly has an excessive amount of unexcused absences from mandatory meetings — including the last month and a half of the 2023-2024 term — and failed to perform duties as per ASI Bylaws. Pandadiya also, allegedly, displayed unprofessional and inappropriate behavior duringinteractions with CPP students as vice president and withheld students’ opinions and voices from the board on various discussions and action items.  He has also been accused of improper use of ASI funds and falsification of legal documents sent to ASI Staff.

Templeton suggested the BOD meeting contact legal counsel to be present during the meeting, inviting CPP’s legal councilman Mark Bookman to advise.

According to Bookman, a staff member shared the letter of resignation with him asking what to do as the letter had an allegation of potential litigation. The recipients of the letter were warned not to share the letter to avoid legal trouble since it was labled as confidential by the sender.

The members were advised they were allowed to share their drafted letter of Justification For Removal of ASI’s Vice President 2023-2024 to the public as a matter of public record as  long as they do not debate the contents within the letter because Pandadiya has resigned.

ASI Board members receive scholarships paid from student fees and are disbursed throughout the semester. Senators wanted to have further discussion about the outcome of  Pandadiya’s final scholarship installment, even though he no longer holds a position on the board.

“The scholarships come from student fees and the students voted us to represent them in ASI,” Business Senator Wendy Obispo said. “If he’s not doing what his position is supposed to be doing, then the student fee is going toward nothing. As representative of the students, that was something very important. I don’t think a lot of students are aware the scholarships are from student fees, so for him to not fulfill his role, I think it’s important that students are aware.”

Miller says it is “likely” that he will not receive his final disbursement of the scholarship.

Rocker showed off a physical check in hand to the BOD during  the Zoom meeting, showing that time is still available to pause scholarship disbursement.

“I was definitely shocked,” Shadrick said.  “When I thought of Naman doing that I think it was cowardice, I mean as you saw at the end of the letter he is given a chance to speak and for whatever reason he chose not to and chose to back out. I think that was disappointing for me when I heard that because I think people would appreciate if he did say something in any way.”

Feature image courtesy of Reyes Navarrette 

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