Vacant A.S. spots to be filled by appointees

    The A.S. Council has approved A.S. President Jeremy Paul Gallagher’s appointments of Harish Nandagopal to vice president external, Todd Tolin to commissioner of academic affairs and Jeff Boyd to commissioner of student advocacy through open roll-call votes on May 22 and May 23. These appointments fill the remaining vacancies on the council.

    At the end of open roll-call voting on May 23, Nandagopal was approved 17-1-4 and Tolin was approved 17-2-3. Boyd was confirmed on May 22 with a vote of 17-0-5.

    The disqualification of the Students First! slate from the 2003 A.S. Elections led to many of the vacancies the council has gradually filled. Nandagopal and Frances Galvon, who was appointed on May 21 to be commissioner of communiations, ran as members of the Students First! slate.

    Now able to officially assume their offices, the new appointees are ready to begin work.

    Nandagopal looks forward to focusing on the possibility of Greek cooperative housing, stopping fee increases and educating students about the Classification by Race, Ethnicity, Color and National Origin initiative.

    “”We’re going to be devoting a lot of resources to inform our students about the proposition and hopefully convincing students to vote ‘no’ on the item and make it fail,”” Nandagopal said.

    Nandagopal also hopes to increase communication between his office and the council.

    “”I want to get everyone who wants to be involved and let them be involved in the external office,”” Nandagopal said.

    Tolin wants the academic affairs office to be involved in reviving the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services’ tutoring program, which fell victim to budget cuts earlier in 2003.

    “”I would like to see no cuts happen to OASIS,”” Tolin said. “”I’m exploring alternatives and making students, faculty, staff and administration all realize just how important this is.””

    In addition, Tolin wants to make students aware of the purpose of his office, to increase course variety and to make sure students are represented on campus committees.

    Boyd is ready to advocate for students involved in Judicial Board hearings.

    “”The university likes to do a lot of spring cleaning in terms of having cases prosecuted,”” Boyd said. “”I just want to get back into the swing of things and get things going so that students can have the representation that they need at these hearings.””

    The council decided to hold open roll-call votes to approve the nominations during its meeting on May 21, in order to allow numerous senators not present at the meeting to participate in the voting process. An open roll-call vote extends voting until a specified time, can be requested by any senator and is non-debatable.

    The use of the open roll-call vote garnered much dispute during the approval process.

    “”It was kind of unfortunate [the confirmation] didn’t happen at the meeting,”” Boyd said. “”I did understand the senators’ concerns with giving all of the senators the chance to have their voice heard.””

    Senators opposed to the open roll-call method of voting pointed out that many of the appointees were already working in their offices but were not receiving such benefits as having keys to their offices. Senators also argued that the appointments were not last-minute and that senators knew they would take place at the meeting.

    Boyd, who was present at the meeting, persuaded those in favor of the open roll-call vote to end the vote on his confirmation before the start of business the next day, so that students would not go a day without a student advocate.

    Straw polls taken during the meeting revealed that the issue dividing the council was not the confirmation of those awaiting appointment, but rather the method of voting.

    When it became evident that some senators were going to request open roll-call votes for all appointments, Vice President Internal Jenn Pae decided not to recognize such a request. Pae said that many in the audience and on the council were opposed to the voting method.

    The council then overruled the chair’s decision not to recognize the request with a vote of 7-5-3.

    During the May 21 meeting, Galvon was approved by consensus to fill the office of commissioner of communications. The council decided not to hold an open roll-call vote for Galvon because of the time-sensitive nature of her office’s involvement in producing the executive budget.

    The council also appointed Alex Kushner to commissioner of programming as an item of immediate consideration during the meeting. Open roll-call votes are not allowed for items of immediate consideration.

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