ASU missing leaders and looking to fill top spots

Joseph Katona is assuming a lot of responsibilities in this year’s ASU.

Solomon Smith, Editor in Chief

As the new semester begins, the leadership of the Associated Student Union remains mostly empty with no president or vice-president and only five filled positions.

Joseph Katona is a quiet-spoken engineering major in his last year here at Valley, who has assumed a lot of responsibility. He is currently the treasurer for the ASU, third from the top in the hierarchy of the executive officers. None of the positions above him are filled making him the acting president of the ASU.

When asked how he felt about having to wear so many hats Katona said, “I like it. I like keeping myself busy I like going out and doing stuff; it’s just something I enjoy.”

According to Katona many of the candidates who were elected are no longer eligible because of a lack of credits. All prospective officers are given a packet of the rules when running for their respective position and many of the candidates chose to ignore some of those rules and were subsequently made ineligible. This leaves the ASU in an unfortunate position as they. In the last few years, there has been a persistent problem getting positions filled as student interest in governing their own student body has been declining.

Some of these positions are vital to the function of an executive board. Among the top empty positions are the president, vice-president, ICC Senate representatives, secretary, and others for a total of ten vacant positions—out of fifteen. As of now, there are five officers on the ASU doing the job of fifteen people; Katona as interim president.

Last year’s ASU board members were also run ragged at the start of the semester as the workload was spread between the few elected personnel. This year’s crop of new leaders is optimistic about getting their message out and getting students to participate in the student union.

Joselyn Yang, commissioner of fine arts, is a full-time student and student worker. She is also helping with the effort to recruit and garner interest in the ASU.

“It is a lot of responsibility and it is a lot of work, but I don’t feel overwhelmed,” Yang said, “especially because everyone here has been so helpful.”

Katona is hoping to get more students interested in the ASU starting with making the student body aware that the ASU is available for them. His vision for how to do this is to get out and be seen. He is hoping to have at least one or two events a month to make students more aware of the existence of the ASU, and hopefully, spark some interest in student government.

“I really feel like the biggest issue is advertising,” says Katona. “We can get more people by simply talking to them and having more events.”

This strategy is also how he intends to get the word out about the vacant executive positions of the ASU. Katona and the other four officers intend to go to class rooms and talk to students directly.

A special election is scheduled to be held on Oct. 18-19 in Monarch Hall and the ASU. The deadline for candidates to apply is Sept. 22, with a briefing about the rules to be held on Sept. 27 in the Sky Box Conference Room.

Last year all of the community colleges changed the voting system online voting. The online system was paid for by the Los Angeles Community College District in an effort to include more students in the voting process but had many problems of its own.

If no candidates apply for the president or vice-president position, Katona is not worried. Katona says that he would be willing, and able, to shoulder the responsibility of the president’s position if necessary and has faith that, if it happens, he would be able to handle it.

“I would take over the president position and drop the treasurer position if they would let me.”


Your thoughts?