The Mt. SAC Associated Students Senate met for their regularly scheduled meeting on May 5. At the meeting, Mt. SAC Student Court Chief Justice Mohamad Almouazzen announced that a vote to invalidate the Associated Students 2020-2021 executive board election had been approved at their Student Court meeting on April 29.
Due to the fact that an elections committee had not been formed by the third week of the semester, the election was deemed invalid since it was in violation of the Associated Students Elections Directive. An elections committee will now need to be appointed and a timeline aiming for the end of the semester was approved by Student Court.
A special election will now be held on May 25 through May 29, and students will again vote online through their Mt. SAC student portals.
The Associated Students April election was held exclusively online due to the campus being closed. With the court’s ruling, the executive officer positions of president, vice president, senate chair, inter-club council co-chairs and student trustee are up for election once again. Individuals seeking to become candidates for office must have their applications submitted by May 13.
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There is also a mandatory candidate orientation that is to be held on May 15, according to the Associated Students Instagram account.
According to the meeting minutes, current Associated Students President Jesus Garcia said in his report that he “is heartbroken” over Student Court’s decision to deem the election invalid. The minutes also state that Garcia had said that he “is disappointed in the way AS worked together, but now is divided.”
A special election will now be held between May 25 and May 29 to determine these student leadership positions once more. Hugo Fulcheri had been elected as Associated Students President during the April election and will now have to run for president again.
“Although the ruling denies me the position I had worked for, I also understand the significance of keeping things according [to] the rules,” Fulcheri said. “I feel that it was justified under what our governing documents say.”
There is no guarantee that the special election will have the same results as the previous election, which Fulcheri admitted is worrisome. “I hope that our campaigning will be enough,” Fulcheri said. “It worked once, I’m sure it will work twice.”
The Associated Students Senate also passed a motion at the meeting to grant officers across all branches of Associated Students with staff parking permits. Per the meeting minutes, Associated Students Vice President Andy Shin had suggested only members of the executive board should receive the permits. However, after Fulcheri stated he would like all officers to be granted parking permits, a vote was approved unanimously to grant the parking permits to officers across all branches of Associated Students.
The Senate also discussed the Mountie Fresh Food Pantry. During these tough economic times, Mt. SAC’s Mountie Fresh Food Pantry has become a go-to resource for Mt. SAC students facing food insecurities. Although COVID-19 closed the campus, the food pantry has opened a drive-up option for students, and all that is required is a student ID. The Associated Students Senate confirmed at the meeting that the next Mt. SAC food pantry would be held on May 14.
The Associated Students Senate will meet again on May 12 for their next scheduled meeting.