Gallagher makes appointments

    The A.S. Council will vote to approve several appointments made by A.S. President Jeremy Paul Gallagher to the vacant vice president external and commissioner positions by May 23.

    Jessica Horton
    Guardian

    Several members of the A.S. senate chose to hold open roll call votes for appointments after voicing concerns that all senators should be able to vote on the appointments. Only 16 of 22 senators were in attendance at the May 21 meeting. While numerous council members objected to delaying the approvals, only one request for an open role call vote is required for it to take effect and the request is nondebatable.

    The only appointments approved at the meeting were for Alex Kushner to commissioner of programming and Frances Galvon to commissioner of communication. Kushner’s appointment was approved as an item of immediate consideration, wherein open roll call requests cannot be made. Gallagher submitted Kushner’s appointment as IOIC because Gallagher’s recommendation for his appointment had been ready since the May 14 meeting. Senators opted not to hold an open roll call vote for Galvon’s appointment in recognition of work that needs to be done in the Office of Communication.

    Gallagher’s other recommendations for appointment included Harish Nandagopal for vice president external, Todd Tolin for commissioner of academic affairs and Jeff Boyd for commissioner of student advocacy. Stephanie Aguon was appointed commissioner of diversity affairs at last week’s A.S. Council meeting.

    Senators have until 8 a.m. on May 22 to vote on Boyd’s appointment and until 4 p.m. on May 23 to vote on Tolin’s and Nandagopal’s appointments.

    Thurgood Marshall College Senior Senator and Senate Chair Sierra Catcott and Marshall Chair Travis Silva were among the most vocal in support of holding an open roll call vote to allow all senators to vote. Others, including Gallagher and Warren Interim Sophomore Senator Kirsten Bowen, voiced opposition to delaying the decision, arguing that senators had enough time to form an opinion on the recommended appointments and should have been in attendance at the meeting.

    “”I’m disappointed that it turned out this way,”” Gallagher said. “”I encourage any senators in the future to plan ahead. For this to come up today is very frustrating.””

    Vice President Internal Jennifer Pae chose not to recognize a request for an open roll call vote in response to the sizeable number of people in the council and audience that were opposed to the voting method, but was overruled 7-5-3 by the A.S. Council.

    “”For the chair to not recognize something that is legal is undemocratic,”” Silva said.

    Nandagopal, Galvon and Aguon were each among the Students First! slate candidates disqualified from A.S. elections in April following the A.S. Elections Committee’s decision that the slate violated a previously imposed ruling regarding poster removal. The disqualification of all members of the Students First! slate — many of whom were running unopposed — resulted in the vacancies that the newly appointed council members will fill.

    During elections, Galvon and Aguon had each run for the position to which they were appointed. Nandagopal, who ran for vice president finance, would fill the vacancy created by the disqualification of vice president external candidate Rigo Marquez.

    Tolin, who applied to run for commissioner of diversity affairs on Gallagher’s Unity slate but was disqualified after missing the application deadline, would fill the vacancy created by commissioner of academic affairs candidate Perse Hooper’s disqualification.

    Boyd, who worked in the A.S. Office of Student Advocacy in 2002-2003 and was a member of the Student Regulations Review Committee, would fill the vacancy left by Viviane Pourazary’s disqualification.

    Kushner, a current A.S. Programming Festivals co-coordinator, will fill the vacancy left by Rishi Shah’s disqualification.

    Questions have been raised in recent weeks as to whether disqualified candidates could constitutionally be appointed to the A.S. Council. However, Gallagher and council members have determined that the constitution does not prohibit disqualified candidates from appointment because such individuals did not hold the office that they ran for and were hence not “”removed from office.”” The A.S. Constitution states that “”any person that has been removed from an office shall not be eligible to fill the vacancy of that office during the term in which that person was removed.””

    Gallagher consulted with the A.S. Judicial Board on the issue earlier this month, and the board agreed with this interpretation.

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