Monarchs elected Ani Ramazyan as the next ASU president and passed two constitutional amendments.
By Natalie Metcalf, Staff Writer
With a three percent voter turnout, Ani Ramazyan was elected Valley College’s next Associated Student Union President over Lauren Lucas, who currently holds the position of commissioner of ethnic and cultural affairs.
Ramazyan defeated Lucas with a difference of 20 percent. Both unopposed, Mia Sanchez and Diego Enriquez will join the executive council. Sanchez was elected commissioner of fine arts, while Enriquez was elected treasurer. In addition, the ASU’s bias and monthly stipend amendments passed by wide margins.
In total, 88 percent of voting students agreed to the stipend increase amendment. Beginning in August, the ASU board members will receive $250 monthly stipends for fall and spring semesters, as well as $100 stipends during winter and summer sessions.
The second revision to the ASU constitution is based on voter bias. The voter-bias amendment passed with 283 votes. Next fall, executive council members must withdraw themselves from the voting process if familial or romantic ties exist. Failure to do so will result in grounds for impeachment.
ASU’s current commissioner of political affairs, Kai Haaland, pushed the voter-bias amendment in executive council meetings. The amendment passed by a landslide, with only five percent of the student body opposing the measure.
“They [the amendments] are designed to promote ASU involvement for students,” said Haaland. “It makes it so that any student who wants to get involved in student politics has a fair shot – regardless of their financial background, who they know, or who they are related to.”
With 97 percent of the student body not participating in the voting process, this election’s voter turnout doubled. Last year, 1.68 percent of the student body voted in the election. This year displayed a higher voter turnout. According to student life counselor and ASU advisor Monica Flores, the student union was able to promote the election through in-person events, as Haaland was allowed to set up a voting booth late last month.
The newly elected president wishes to have a fully functional team behind her by the fall. In addition to recruiting more board members, Ramazyan wants to increase student engagement.
“I'd like to bring more club activities to campus and, if possible, make club meetings in person or hybrid, which also depends on the convenience of club members and officers,” explained the ASU’s president-elect.
Improvements to Valley’s website are also important to Ramazyan. Next fall, the ASU president will also be taking on the role of vice president until the executive council appoints someone else for the position during the upcoming term, according to section 4B of the ASU constitution.
“I will try to get more students to apply for ASU positions to fill available roles,” said the first-year political science major. “If no one else applies for vice president, I will begin to multitask by holding both positions.”
Valley’s student union will promote vacant positions this summer. If any candidates are found, the board can start appointing positions in August. The newly elected president and officers will begin their term starting on July 1, including both amendments.