Athletics office may be appointed

    The A.S. Council debated legislation that would amend its constitution to make the Commissioner of Athletic Relations an appointed position. An open roll call on Feb. 4 showed that more councilmembers are in favor of the legislation, with a vote of 11-8-4.

    Councilmembers must submit their final open roll call votes by 4 p.m. on Feb. 6.

    A.S. Commissioner of Athletic Relations Jordan Cross presented the legislation to council. According to Cross, candidates for the position can be easily swayed by slates, while the position itself needs to maintain a certain apolitical nature.

    “”The Commissioner of Athletic Relations should be primarily concerned with and only with reaching out and expanding athletics into all arenas of student life,”” Cross said. “”I am concerned that if this position becomes one of a popularity contest, students will ultimately lose. I think it would be a disgrace to our students, athletes and school to tie this position in with slate politics.””

    However, some councilmembers argued that making the position appointed would take away from student voice.

    “”I think that this dramatically takes away from direct student input,”” A.S. President Jeremy Paul Gallagher said. “”One of the benefits in having direct student input is that you can have someone who wants to push for UCSD to have Division I sports and someone who wants to push for something radically different ó although some may argue that those people should not be in this position, they should have the opportunity to run, and that benefit outweighs any other issue.””

    Others argue that the position should be similar to the position of the Commissioner of Student Advocacy, which the A.S. Council recently voted to make appointed. Some councilmembers argued that there is a danger that someone unqualified be elected to a commissioner office.

    “”What’s important about [these commissioner] positions is that they are very specific jobs that require knowing very specific details that are not gained through elections, but gained through experience in that office,”” A.S. Commissioner of Programming Alex Kushner said.

    Some who opposed the legislation presented responses from their constituencies on the issue. Earl Warren College Senior Senator Jennifer Klage and other Warren College senators sent out e-mails telling their constituents about the legislation.

    According to Klage, 45 out of 57 students replied in support of having the office for the commissioner of athletic relations remain an elected position.

    “”As the Warren senior representative, I cannot vote for this legislation,”” Klage said. “”This is what they want ó to go against that; I can’t do that. “”

    Others cited a referendum on spring 2003’s general elections ballot on which students voted to keep all commissioner positions elected.

    According to Cross, many qualified students are deterred by the election process.

    “”The most qualified people for this position may not be the most recognizable,”” Cross said. “”Many athletes who would do an amazing job in this position have expressed their lack of interest in participating in a school-wide election.””

    -Additional reporting by Neil Spears, senior staff writer

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