by Tom Galaraga
The Associated Students Federation (ASF) Forum forced Crystal Apilado to resign from her position as vice president of activities on Oct. 31.
In a meeting attended by only ASF’s executive board, it was decided that Apilado would be asked to resign for not adhering to her Constitutional duties.
Although Apilado did not formally challenge the decision, she said that she questions whether the ASF panel, and particularly President Mario Guerrero, was acting fairly and according to the Constitution.
“We accepted her forced resignation,” said Guerrero. However, he refused to disclose the specifics behind this decision. “She did not fulfill the duties and responsibilities of her title.”
Apilado, who was later informed of the decision through a letter written by Guerrero and dated Oct. 31, was not present at the meeting, nor was she aware that formal actions were being taken behind her back.
“I honestly don’t know why I was fired,” said Apilado. “I couldn’t tell you why because they never gave me specifics.”
Apilado said that the accusations against her were unfair because her presence on ASF came primarily from her involvement with ASF commissioners, not the executive board. Therefore, any accusations made by the executive board, are unsubstantiated she said.
“They didn’t ask her to come and defend herself, I don’t agree with that. I think Crystal should have been able to defend herself,” said ASF commissioner Travis Berry. “I thought for the most part she followed everything outlined in the constitution.”
Because he is not part of the executive board, Berry, along with several other commissioners, was not allowed to vote on the decision or even attend the meeting where the decision to terminate Apilado was made.
“Before we decided to give her the letter, the forum heard her out,” said Guerrero. “She had the right to appeal this decision to JAC (Judicial Affairs Council), but she did not take this route.”
“I was contacted Sunday online. They told me that I had till Wednesday (Oct. 31) to hand in my resignation,” said Apilado. “I was never invited to the meeting. I feel that I shouldn’t have to prove myself when I know I can do it.”
While the majority vote by the executive board allowed them to terminate Apilado, Berry said the vote did not represent the ASF consensus.
“There is no doubt in my mind that had the entire Forum met, the decision would have been different,” he said. Adding that he feels that it was unfair for the executive board to meet without the entire Forum.
“This was an executive board decision, not a Forum decision,” said Guerrero, who instructed other members of ASF not to speak to or comment on this situation.
Guerrero cited Constitution Bylaw 2, Article 2, Section 3, Letter F, Number 7, that states, “If an ASF Forum member does not fulfill responsibilities as chairperson of ASF committees, nor organize two (2) programs per semester, the ASF President will confer with the ASF advisors and will meet with the chairperson”
Apilado claims no such meeting took place nor was an effort to organize such a meeting made. Apilado said she was given an opportunity to defend herself at the Oct. 31 meeting, however this meeting took place after the decision was already made.
Apilado said that she feels that Guerrero was personally attacking her in his letter, and that his actions were uncalled for. Apilado said she believes that she terminated simply because she and Guerrero were not able to get along.
“I think that there is a personal note to it. Mario and I butt heads,” said Apilado.
But Guerrero said “It wasn’t a personal attack. We followed the Constitution and it was an executive board decision. It was never my decision alone.”
“You can somewhat see that there is tension between the two of them,” said Berry. “Their personalities just don’t mix.”
Ruby Montaño-Cordova, associate dean of student affairs, was unavailable for comment as of Thursday.