A.S. Board of Directors jumpstart stalled appointment process, circumvent bylaws

by Adam Burkhart

On Monday, the San Diego State Associated Students Board of Directors appointed one of its executive officers to fill an empty seat on the Appointments and Review Committee, which had been stalling the appointment process for three vacant positions in A.S.

The A.S. BOD voted unanimously to appoint A.S. Vice President of External Relations Javier Gomez to the committee. Though the appointment of a third executive officer to the Appointments and Review committee is not explicitly authorized in the bylaws, the decision was made out of expediency.

The Appointments and Review committee is composed of the A.S. chief justice, executive director, vice president, vice president of university affairs and three members each from Campus Life Council and University Council.

Gomez will fill the role of the third voting member of the committee from ASCLC, which was left empty because members of that council couldn’t fit the required meetings into their schedules.

Student-at-large representative Joshua Garman, who is on the Appointments and Review committee, requested at the board’s Oct. 21 meeting that the vacancy be filled by one of the four remaining student-at-large representatives to ensure more direct representation in the appointment process. When none of the five volunteered, the board asked among its executive officers and settled on Gomez, who was able to attend all three of the required meetings for the position.

“I don’t want you guys to think that I don’t bring the student perspective because I definitely do,” Gomez told the board.

“I know it’s unfortunate,” A.S. President Josh Morse said. “We would want a student-at-large to be there.”

However, Morse expressed faith in the board’s choice to appoint Gomez to the appointments committee.

A.S. Executive Director Christina Brown advised the board on what she said was the most practical course of action.

“The only other way I could think to do it is if you wanted to choose another (A.S. BOD member) is you could make an exception to the rule for this time because of the extenuating circumstances,” Brown said.

A.S. Vice President of University Affairs Morgan Chan suggested the option of referring the matter to ASUC to find a replacement from among its members.

Student-at-large representative Washington Navarrete said he thought selecting a member of the A.S. BOD was the best compromise. He said appointing another member from ASUC would create an imbalance of representation, whereas the A.S. Board of Directors theoretically comprises perspectives from both councils.

The appointments committee interviews and appoints applicants to the different positions within A.S. Currently, there are three vacant positions within A.S. that have been waiting to be filled: student-at-large representative, sustainability representative and elections coordinator.

The appointments committee is technically an ad hoc committee, although it is routinely convened to handle appointments. It is not certain when a member of ASCLC will replace Gomez.

Interviews for the open positions within A.S. begin next week. The appointment process for the vacant seats has already been delayed about two weeks, but the Judicial Affairs Council should approve the appointments at its meeting on Oct. 30, Garman said.