by Salina Ronderos
After hours of deliberation, the Associated Student Federation(ASF) Forum’s special election process proved successful in selecting four new Forum members to occupy the remaining seats of the cabinet. Junior Joshua Sherod, sophomores Herman Barahona and Manuel Estrada, and freshman Mohammed Ghonim were elected to the Forum.
Special elections are held on issues and the election of officers and/or members to the Forum at a time between regular elections.
Article IV, Section eight, Clause three, of the Constitution says, “If more than four seats in the Forum have been vacated throughout the year, all positions thereafter shall be filled by special election in accordance with Article XV, section 4 clause two.”
According to junior Christina Tejeda, ASF vice president, the special election process requires a six-member quorum to review, interview and appoint forum members.
“The election went very well. All voting members showed up. We interviewed all the candidates and asked them about new ideas they felt they could bring to ASF. We then voted by secret ballot,” said Tejeda.
Tejeda mentioned that the only flaw with the newly completed Forum is the absence of a transfer representative.
“There is no representative for the transfer students only because nobody applied for that position. However, we [ASF] will make sure that a Forum member is in charge of getting out to the transfer students,” she said.
According to Tejeda, before the decision of having no transfer representative was approved, ASF carefully looked into the Constitution and found no clear interpretation for a transfer representative to be a must for the Forum to be complete.
New Forum members were notified of their selection Friday evening, via letters of congratulations in their mailboxes.
“I was very happy,” said Estrada, new ASF Forum member. “This was the second time I applied and I figured there was no harm in trying again.”
Estrada said his reasons for joining ASF were to become more involved with the University and plans to help improve ASF ideas that are already taking place. Estrada has had some experience with leadership before as a publicity representative in high school. He said his past experience will enable him to better inform students of what is taking place on and off campus.
“I want to get the students more involved so they can appreciate the full college experience. I don’t see enough participation as I would like to,” said Estrada.
Ghonim agrees with Estrada and said he chose to become a part of ASF to try to get students involved in extra-curricular activities.
“ASF will allow me to get out to the student body as a whole. I think it is important for students to get their heads out of the books every now and then. Too much can be too much sometimes,” said Ghonim.
According to Ghonim his main goal is to research what ASF is really about and use it to his advantage to get information out to the students.
Unlike Ghonim and Estrada, Sherod has not had any previous experience in student government. He was, however, the Student Coordinator of Activities at the University a year ago.
“I have always wanted to be a part of student government. I believe I have a very creative mind and a bit of responsibility to contribute to ASF. I think I can help out with anything that needs to get done and I can offer good ideas,” said Sherod.
Former Le French Club president Barahona said he was honored and very happy about being accepted as a Forum member.
“I want to cause an explosion on campus,” said Barahona. “I want to ignite the energy that I know everyone has in their inner self.”
According to Barahona, students see ASF as an exclusive group and he has felt a gap between ASF and the students.
“I think we should have more of a one-on-one basis with the students. Instead of always handing out paper surveys, ASF should personally reach out to the students,”said Barahona.
All agreed that while they are Forum members they would like to fix the communication gap between ASF and the student body. Another issue they would like to focus on is to reach out to commuter students to get them more involved with University activities.