Board members meet online under strains of ASU member vacancies.
By Gene Wickham, Staff Writer
The Valley College ASU held their second meeting of the semester on Zoom with two advisers and their three remaining board members in attendance.
The new board members formed a quorum of two: Vice President and Interim President Emily Gutierrez and Student Life Commissioner Daniela Salgado. Also in attendendance was Secretary Sebastian Diaz. The executive committee advisors — Elizabeth Negrete and Monica Flores — helped guide the new executive board through their paces. The 1 p.m. Finance meeting scheduled before the Executive Board meeting was canceled due to lack of attendance.
After reviewing their involvement with “Welcome Week,” the board concentrated on filling their ranks. Flores mentioned students have vacated their board seats due to difficulties with the pandemic lockdown and so recruitment deadlines have been extended.
“We have extended the deadline so we are still accepting applications,” she commented. “Students are applying but not [for] every position.”
Typically the one-year positions are filled during the spring semester where the candidates campaign and the students vote for their choices. After the selection is made, the one-year term begins the following fall.
This year, because of the pandemic, the board is still accepting applications for ASU vacancies — including the position of president. The deadline to submit applications has been extended to 1 p.m. on Sept. 14.
The problem with presidential vacancy can be traced back to the beginning of the 2020 spring semester, as reported by the Star. The resignation of then President David Nargizyan, one month after the lockdown, and ending with this year's president, Brenda Bernal, vacating the position is telling about the difficulties recruiting and holding onto board members.
After a review of the applications, those eligible will be invited to the Sept. 22, Zoom executive meeting and interviewed by the board members. The final appointments are expected to be made by the end of the meeting. The ASU application and other information can be found on the schools homepage at lavc.edu.
Another issue discussed was the Leadership Conference sponsored by the California Community College Student Affairs Association (CCCSAA). An annual event, the conference is usually held live over three days and is open to all community colleges in California.
The CCCSAA has named this year’s conference “Launch to Leadership” and has offered the following statement from its website for its goals: “The program, workshops, and exciting guest speakers will help student leaders and advisors to LAUNCH their ideas for student engagement and advocacy for the needs of students and their communities. ASO/ASGs, ICCs, student club officers and members, athletes, peer mentors and all advisors including staff and faculty volunteer advisors are encouraged to LIFT OFF with CCCSAA.”
It is assumed Zoom will be the conference’s media platform, which is planned for Oct. 2. All other details including speakers, workshops and scheduling is still being planned.
Noting students' apprehension with more online events, Flores surmised, “Students don't seem to have a lot of focus on being online too long, especially if you are already online for a lot of school related stuff.”
The executive board reviewed the available information about the conference and decided to vote against the proposal to attend because of cost, lack of information, and time constraints.
Anyone still wishing to attend independently by themselves can go to the CCCSAA.org website and click on the “events” tab to find more information about the 2020 conference.