President Scurr responds to Senate shake-up
During last week’s Senate meeting, Campus Relations Director Eryn Wells, First-year Class President Jenna Gelinas, and Residence Hall Representative Nati Yitayew resigned. The ASWC Senate was left to decide how to fill these now empty spots, and determine what implications having three of their senators resign would result in.
“Typically, we never expect a resignation, and it’s sad that we did lose members. And for it to come at the end of a meeting — if it had to happen at any time, that would be the best time because the bulk of the meeting had already taken place,” said third-year and Student Body President Bryceton Scurr. “This isn’t the first time this year that we’ve lost student members. In the past, [the issue has] been time commitments. It’s been different overall understandings of what the organization sets out to do. So, in regards to these three members leaving, it’s clear that they don’t feel they can pursue their interests and their goals in the realm of Senate.” For Scurr, these resignations came as a surprise. None of the three members gave notice to ASWC prior to resigning. Last week’s Senate meeting also helped put into perspective an underlying frustration felt by a portion of the Whittier student body.
“There [have been] individual cases,” said Scurr. “I know we’ve talked about that before, and our E-Board discussed the fact that there were individual cases before, but in terms of how they’re all connected — maybe even some are still anomalous in some fashion. Overall, it really became clear how connected all of these cases really are in the grand scheme of things after Monday night, because students one after another were coming forth and saying this story, and relating to what other students have said.” Scurr views last week’s meeting as an example of ASWC doing its job.
“I would say the meeting ran its course, and it shows that our student government still works because students did come forth and they took the time to explain their concerns. Our senators took their time to listen to those concerns, and that’s really what Senate is.”
ASWC Senate intends to fill its vacancies in the coming weeks. This past Monday, they promoted First-Year Vice President Destiny Barrientos to First Year Class President, a position previously filled by Jenna Gelinas. “She was the Vice President of the First Year Class Council,” said Scurr. “The Executive Cabinet talked about it briefly, and said she’s very involved and is excited to fill this position.” The positions of Campus Relations Director and Residence Hall Representative will be filled based off an application process which will be conducted through OrgSync.
At the ASWC Senate meeting on Feb. 19, Secretary Hannah Martin — who will be temporarily taking over responsibilities as Campus Relations Director while that position is vacant — read a statement approved by ASWC in response to last weeks’ meeting. In the statement, the ASWC made its position as a voice for Whittier students clear. “The ASWC Senate reaffirms its position and responsibility to ensure that students are aware of that process as much as possible. We, as students, must acknowledge our limitations to make the changes that the student body deserves, but reaffirm our power to influence the administration to hear your concerns and to ensure that they follow through appropriately,” said Martin. The full statement can be viewed on the ASWC twitter account, @aswc_senate.