Election results prove Forum's need for change

Campus Times
May 7, 1999


by Araceli Esparza
Managing Editor

Following last week's elections to amend the Associated Students Federation (ASF) Constitution, it was determined that students at the University of La Verne were prepared for a change.

Out of 187 students who voted on the matter, 156 (little more than 80 percent) were in favor of the proposed constitutional changes.

"The outcome of the vote tells me that the students know that there needs to be a change in how ASF functions," said senior Michael Morrow, president of the Forum. "They're telling ASF they agree with the Forum that there needs to be an increased focus on advocacy."

In regards to the ratification and implementation of the constitutional changes, Morrow said that next year's Forum will be broken down into two individual entities, all under one general Forum.

New members will be elected to either the Board of Advocacy (which consists of Senators) or the Board of Activities (the Commissioners) to help them concentrate on a specific area of interest and/or strength.

"It's something that has been in discussion for months, but we only really started a month ago," Morrow said in regards to the first-time amendments to the Forum's format were proposed. "We could see that the format wasn't performing enough advocacy as it was formed."

Morrow also said that he and junior Forum member Fred Baker began "reviewing options to improve that function," looking at governmental bodies of other colleges in doing so. They collected information from local institutions such as Chapman University, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona), and Citrus Community College, each an institution similar to ULV.

With the ratification of the Forum's constitution, several factors will be revised for the upcoming school year. For the most part, the separation of committees within the Forum will allow for numerous students to be an integral part of each entity. Senators' primary responsibilities will be to focus on political issues, whereas commissioners' duties will be to concentrate on recreational activities for students.

Each entity will be composed of up to eight main representatives, with each commissioner and each senator appointed a specific area of University life. Senators and commissioners will be granted the freedom to appoint a ULV student as their individual assistants.

Because the Forum will be broken down into two bodies, changes within the general executive board will also be made. For example, presidency for the Forum will be open to only one individual, but the position of the vice president will now be available to two students, one to help direct each Board.

Also, what currently exists as the Board of Trustees position will be dropped from the executive board. Next year and thereafter, the ASF president will take charge of that position as a representative of the Forum.

The addition of a director of public relations will be implemented into the executive board as well. This individual will take charge for the publicity and promotion of all Forum-sponsored activities throughout the year.

Other changes in the new government system will include the disbanding of the Financial Review Board, through which all Forum members will now make all decisions on financial matters. An additional faculty adviser will be elected to assist with the operation of the individual Boards; and the implementation of a Judicial Affairs Council that will consist of two residents, two commuters and two Forum members will be chaired by the ASF President.

"I think you're going to see a radically different student government," said Morrow, adding that he anticipates a lot of potential and success for next year's Forum.

"We're going to be bringing speakers and fighting student apathy," he said. "There will be more balance, but I wouldn't say the activities would suffer.

"We'd just do both much more effectively."

With the new changes made to the student government, future Forum members will be required to meet, as a whole, a minimum of twice a month. Also, the individual Boards will be required to meet at least twice monthly.

Morrow said the times and days at which each individual Board meets is to the discretion of its members.

"Some may choose to meet on the days the entire Forum doesn't meet, some might meet on the same day ... it's up to them," he said.

In addition, Morrow said he anticipates a great deal of accomplishment from next year's student government.

"I think this year's group is one that is not as well respected as they deserve [to be], but they are doing the best they can," said Morrow. "I am hoping that 1999-2000 group will be one of the most well-known and respected organizations on this campus.

"I believe it's going to bring about a more diverse group of people who increase the way student government works," said Morrow. "They will continue to bring education and enlightening activities to students."