Only one of the two students who appeared before the ASASUD Senate Friday was appointed to become a senator.
Leslie Sims was approved as the new senator for the Cronkite School, while Albina Hidic was not approved for the senator position for the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.
Following the refusal of Hidic, who was forced to have the approval process completed via telephone due to a prior engagement, the executive board appeared upset at the senate’s decision.
“I found no reason why we wouldn’t approve her,” said Abigail Wischnia, ASASUD’s Arizona Students’ Association Director. “I am extremely disappointed that we did not approve her. I think it’s really unfair of us.”
Director of Parliamentary Procedures and interim Director of Finance Jose Rios Lua echoed this sentiment regarding Hidic, who was first approved by the executive board before appearing before the senate for approval.
“Listen to us when we’re saying something, listen to us when we give a recommendation, because there’s a reason behind it,” Rios Lua said.
Several senators were concerned about the tone the executive board was taking in the discussion surrounding Hidic’s approval, especially in regards to the senators who abstained during the vote.
President Christian Vasquez later said a disrespectful tone was not intended.
One of the reasons presented as to why Hidic wasn’t approved was her lack of specific examples how she would help the Downtown campus, according to some senators.
“I just don’t think she communicated well,” said Freshman Sen. Daiyaan Colbert.
Hidic said she is “trying to make the best of it” and plans on re-applying for the position because she thinks she’d make a great senator.
Sims, who recently interned at ASA and now joins Cailyn Bradley as the Cronkite School’s senators, was approved and joined the discussion several times during her first meeting.
“I was really impressed by the whole thing … by how professional it was,” Sims said.
The process to get approved took approximately two and a half weeks for Sims, who learned about the open position through ASA.
She applied for the position because she said she “wanted to advocate for students” and hopes to remain a senator until she graduates in May 2012.
There are still five senate seats open, including two from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, leaving the school without a representative for at least the next three weeks.
In addition to the new senator’s approval, much of Friday’s meeting was spent discussing how the senators would be kept accountable for their various duties.
Late last semester, Colbert and the former senator for Barrett, the Honors College, Dustin Volz, pushed to remove the vice president’s power to remove a senator’s stipend while still allowing that senator to remain in office.
However, according to Colbert and Rios Lua, this action inadvertently removed the vice president’s ability to hold the senators accountable altogether.
“I think there was some confusion in the wording,” Colbert said. “We want to be clear in the decisions we make.”
Before the senate removed the vice president’s power, senator’s actions were reviewed and documented on a private spreadsheet. When the new provisions are passed, which will likely be during the senate meeting on March 25, senators will be responsible for inputting their activities on a public, online document, which will then be verified by the vice president.
Also, if it is found that a senator is not completing his or her duties, the new bylaws will likely suggest an impeachment case to be filed instead of payment being withheld.
The meeting also covered the “Donate My Dress” initiative that intends to give 100 dresses to Tucson girls for Prom, the possibility of an end-of-the-year celebration for the Downtown campus and the need for better publicity for the “Use it Here” program.
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This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: March 7, 2011
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the title of an ASASUD Executive Board member. Abigail Wischnia is ASASUD’s Arizona Students’ Association Director, not ASU’s Arizona Students’ Association Director.