VP appointed, president claims bias
ASU’s most recent election sparked a heated debate among the committee.
By Isaac Dektor, News Editor
The Valley College ASU appointed a new vice president after a contentious discussion on Tuesday which culminated in a 3-2 vote in favor of Shoshana Cassell. Kimberly Perez Solis, who serves as VP of the women empowerment club, was a close second. Some committee members, including ASU President Sandra Sanchez, assert that the appointment process was biased, with Cassell having served as vice president last semester.
Cassell ran for commissioner of publicity in last Spring’s 2021 ASU election, which had 248 votes cast, and resulted in the current board with three vacancies. Sandra Sanchez was elected president; Giovanni Divaia became the new treasurer; Eliran Shalom and Joseph Cassell ran unopposed for commissioner of health and wellness affairs and commissioner of campus environment affairs, respectively; Ethan Shalom won the uncontested election for commissioner of student life; Lauren Lucas won the race against then-incumbent Eyal Shalom for commissioner of ethnic and cultural affairs; Emily Gutierrez was re-elected commissioner of publicity and social media.
ASU President Sandra Sanchez could not cast a vote in the appointment process, but supported Perez Solis for vice president and believes the process was biased.
“I'm disappointed with how the board members handled the situation - they didn’t come in with an open mind,” said Sanchez. “If people know that we’re electing our friends and people we’ve worked with in the past, that might discourage qualified candidates from running in the future.”
Giovanni Divaia, who serves as treasurer of the ASU, voted for Cassell alongside health and wellness commissioner Eliran Shalom and student life commissioner Ethan Shalom.
“When it comes down to a VP position, having somebody that's experienced matters,” said Divaia during the meeting.
ASU advisor Monica Flores urged the committee to be unbiased throughout the process.
“I think we should also keep our comments neutral so that it doesn’t seem that we’re favoring one candidate over another, just to make it fair to everyone,” said Flores after the first candidate, Sean Moran was interviewed.
Three out of the four candidates in attendance applied for the vice president position which offers a higher stipend and assumes the president’s role whenever she is absent.
Kai Haaland was appointed officer of political affairs, Sean Moran was designated commissioner of fine arts, and Perez Solis took on the role of Parliamentarian.