by Deanna Reyes
University of La Verne Associate Student Federation (ASF) President Justin Jones-Rodriguez resigned from the Forum by issuing a memo to its members Jan. 24.
Jones-Rodriguez said he knew almost immediately that fulfilling the presidency would be a challenge. He said that there were many reasons why he resigned, but the main reason dealt with what was expected from the president, and he considers himself too opinionated to comply.
“I like to shake things a little too much,” said Jones-Rodriguez. “Things should be shaken from the bottom up, not from the top down.”
Jones-Rodriguez said that the main role of the president is to serve as the voice of the students.
However, he said there was a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the student body.
“I had a vision to increase student awareness about politics, but it’s a hard task. Most people don’t care unless they have something to lose; I just lost my inspiration,” he said.
Michael Houdyshell, ASF adviser, said he does not feel there was a negative effect on the Forum, but that it definitely did effect its members.
“You don’t want to see the president leave in the middle of the year, but things change,” said Houdyshell.
According to Jones-Rodriguez, even though he left his position, he knew his voice would not be lost among Forum members.
He said that his political voice will continue to be heard through his position as captain of the ULV debate team.
“The debate team is where my heart is,” said Jones-Rodriguez.
A plan to fill the position is currently underway. In the Forum’s Constitution, Article IV, Section 8, Clause 2, states: “If the position of the president is vacated one of the vice presidents, as determined by special election, shall fill the position within one week.” Houdyshell said that a Forum meeting will take place next week to discuss the details of the election.
“What I want people to know is that I resigned not only for my own benefit, but because I feel someone else could do a better job. My strength is my political voice, and as president I don’t have one,” said Jones-Rodriguez.