ASI fills 2 vacant board positions before spring semester begins

Graduate studies director resigns over winter break, third ASI resignation of school year

The+Associated+Students%2C+Inc.+Board+of+Directors+appointed+Samantha+Elizalde+to+the+position+of+executive+vice+president+during+its+meeting+Wednesday.+Elizalde+has+served+as+vice+president+of+academic+affairs+since+fall+2020+and+was+appointed+executive+vice+president+following+Donna+Walters%27+resignation+from+the+position+in+November+2020.+Photo+taken+via+Zoom+by+Camryn+Dadey.

The Associated Students, Inc. Board of Directors appointed Samantha Elizalde to the position of executive vice president during its meeting Wednesday. Elizalde has served as vice president of academic affairs since fall 2020 and was appointed executive vice president following Donna Walters’ resignation from the position in November 2020. Photo taken via Zoom by Camryn Dadey.

Camryn Dadey, news editor

The Associated Students, Inc. Board of Directors met Wednesday to fill two vacant positions on the board after another ASI director resigned over winter break, making three total ASI resignations this semester.

ASI President Noah Marty told The State Hornet via email that Robert Moon, director of graduate studies, resigned Dec. 23, 2020, making Moon the third member of ASI’s board of directors to resign this school year. Moon is a former State Hornet staff writer and was a member of The State Hornet Publication Board in the fall 2020 semester.

“This semester has been very difficult for all of our students, and our student board members have dealt with the same difficulties that all our students have,” Marty said via email.

Marty said Moon received two scholarship disbursements for his position as graduate studies director: $2,326 on Aug. 27, 2020 and $2,326 on Oct. 1, 2020. Marty said Moon would not be receiving any scholarship disbursements in the spring 2021 semester due to his resignation.

Marty said the board is looking to fill the position of graduate studies director as soon as possible and is currently advertising applications for the position on its website and social media.

During its meeting, the board appointed current Vice President of Academic Affairs Samantha Elizalde to the position of executive vice president. The position was previously held by Donna Walters, who resigned in November 2020 in order to focus on a new job opportunity. 

Elizalde, a third year political science major, has served on the board for two years and previously served as the director of social sciences and interdisciplinary studies in the 2019-2020 school year. She said her main focuses on the board have been providing basic needs to students as well as increasing civic engagement and sustainability on campus.

“During my time with ASI, I have taken an interest in a lot of areas on campus with hopes to represent the student voice and ensure that we are advocating on behalf of them,” Elizalde said. 

She was also involved in advocating for the credit/no credit option being available to students in the fall 2020 semester and said she wants to continue advocating for students in her new role.

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Marty told The State Hornet via email that ASI would begin advertising the vice president of academic affairs position previously held by Elizalde “in the very near future.”

The Associated Students, Inc. Board of Directors appointed Donovan Bersamina to the position of natural sciences and mathematics director during its meeting Wednesday. Bersamina is a fourth year biological sciences major and a Marine Corps veteran.

The board also appointed Donovan Bersamina to the position of director of natural sciences and mathematics (NSM). The position was previously held by Kailah Jenkins, who resigned in November 2020 and cited personal circumstances that led her to prioritize working full-time and pausing her progress to a degree.

Bersamina, a fourth year biological sciences major and Marine Corps veteran, said his main focus in this position will be working to decrease the dropout rate of students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), especially amongst female students and minority students.

“The NSM department and the past directors have done an absolutely amazing job diversifying our student body,” Bersamina said. “I find that there is more to be done in regards to the retention of our now-diverse student body in STEM.”

Bersamina said he will work to ensure more internships, research and work opportunities are provided in order to retain more students in STEM majors and programs.

During the meeting, the board also held a moment of silence for Arath Chavez, a Sacramento State men’s soccer player who died Jan. 12 in a motorcycle accident.