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Bylaw excludes potential leaders

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Editorial cartoon by Jacob Bogdanoff

Editorial cartoon by Jacob Bogdanoff

The Associated Students of University of La Verne has the goal of creating quality experiences for the students and by providing interests suited for the campus community.

ASULV says that its goal is to offer all  students development opportunities through leadership, employment and volunteer experiences.

Yet, a new ASULV bylaw makes it seem that such opportunities are limited only to those who are already inside of the ASULV-only box.

Last summer, ASULV passed a bylaw that states students must have previous ASULV experience in order to run for president and vice president. By doing this, the organization is shutting out the vast majority of our student body from becoming the leaders that they want and should be.

If one of ASULV’s goals is to have the community become more involved, it should offer students the opportunity to share their voices, views and ideas in campus leadership.

The president and vice president, along with the rest of ASULV, are responsible for representing their student body and leading by example.

By passing this bylaw, ASULV is adopting an elitist attitude, which isn’t a very exemplary leadership approach.

It is a disconcerting coincidence that this bylaw came after last year’s ASULV elections, when two candidates for president and vice president ran with no previous ASULV experience.

The race between the two president-vice president candidate pairs was close. Perhaps a re-election should have occurred with this tight race, but the pair with ASULV experience ended up winning the titles.

It is understandable to want leaders who are experienced, because experience could bring valuable insights into decision making and more.

However, this bylaw just seems like a way for ASULV to ensure that their own people are the ones who come out on top.

This eliminates outside competition and ruins the spirit of democracy in student elections.

Leaders should be the ones to push for change, not limit it.

ASULV says they want students to “articulate their right to a voice in campus governance,” but this new bylaw contradicts that.

They should encourage the voices of students who long to make changes, not exclude them because they haven’t had ASULV experience.

ASULV should be for the students, by the students — not for ASULV, by ASULV only.

Correction
In the original version of the editorial “Bylaw excludes potential leaders” (April 10), the new bylaw was misstated. Only presidential candidates must have at least one semester’s previous ASULV experience to run.

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2 Responses to Bylaw excludes potential leaders

  1. Marina April 11, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    The bylaw states that the ASULV President should have at least one semester of previous experience in ASULV. This is not required for the Vice President.

  2. Anthony Reyes April 13, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

    Response to “Bylaw excludes potential leaders”

    After reading April 10th’s Campus Times article, I was not only surprised by how uninformed the author was about the historical context behind the bylaw change (enacted before the 2014-2015 academic year started) but also extremely disappointed by how unprofessional and bias the article was. It seems that every ASULV election cycles draws an ASULV-bashing article even when changes are made to make the process more transparent and practical. Please allow me to clarify and make up for the poorly constructed article published by the Times’ staff.

    The bylaw change the Times reported on—approved by the Senate with a 2/3rds majority— actually requires a one-semester ASULV experience for an individual running for President—not Executive Vice President. The bylaw was amended following discussion in which the Senate addressed some of the concerns the Times has brought up in the past, including the issue of how elections can be perceived as “popularity game,” the necessity of ASULV to hold the candidates who seek the office of the president to a “high standard,” and the need for candidates to actually “address issues.” This bylaw change ensures a more rigorous election process in which candidates are held responsible for their previous role as a member of ASULV—they now have a real record to run on.

    I am offended by the accusations the article makes in that ASULV is adopting an “elitist attitude” and in which ASULV is not for the students or by the students. Further, I am in disbelief that the Times insinuates that one must serve as President or Executive Vice President—or in ASULV in general— in order to be a “campus leader.” In my two years in ASULV—first as a Senator-at-Large and now as the Vice President of Finance—I have seen it evolve and become more efficient, effective, representative, and transparent. The entire student government has contributed to positive changes on campus and, despite what the Times reports, ASULV members—no matter their position or title—have been apart of the progress. Those without ASULV experience—club members, alumni, and concerned Leos—have worked with us to address critical issues that affect us all and they, Editor, are campus leaders in my eyes.

    It is not uncommon for the media to challenge, criticize, and critique the actions of governments and for the work the Times do, I am grateful. I do wish, however, they would take their role on campus more seriously and actually contribute to the election and democratic process. News outlets like Politico, CNN, and the Associated Press conduct polls on the issues people care most about during the election season and then pose questions to the candidates that require them to take a position. Why doesn’t the Times doing something of that nature? Additionally, media outlets take it upon themselves to advertise elections, endorse candidates, and raise awareness on issues and candidates; it would benefit the campus if the Times took up such traditional roles. A good place to start to gain a better understanding of what ASULV does—and why—might be to actually attend a weekly ASULV meeting (which the Times currently doesn’t make a priority). And if that does not work, perhaps it’s time the campus community reexamine the reason why we allow Campus Times to have a monopoly on the news which, contrary what they state, is not always fair, balanced, or accurate.

    So thank you, Campus Times, for beginning to prioritize news above story. I appreciate your service to the campus and I look forward to seeing your organization grow. Please be sure to announce when positions open for Editor-in-Chief—I’m sure Leos will be interested in a leadership opportunity with the Times. It’s not like one needs to have a semester experience as a staff writer to even apply for an Editor position—right?

    Yours in Service,
    Anthony Reyes
    anthony.reyes@laverne.edu

    ASULV Vice President of Finance | 2014 – 2015
    ASULV Senator-at-Large | 2013 – 2014