Senators, Berkompas reflect on ruling

Berkompas to receive Writ of Mandamus; applications for two executive positions reopened



ASWSU President Quinton Berkompas said he disagrees with the Judical Board’s ruling but will comply with it. Chief Justice Kevin Kissinger suggested the Senate should not confirm Eric Martinez or Jajaun Jackson which leaves two more vacancies.

ANGELICA RELENTE, Evergreen editor-in-chief

ASWSU senators voiced their concerns to President Quinton Berkompas after the Judicial Board presented the court’s ruling during the Senate meeting Wednesday.

Chief Justice Kevin Kissinger referred to the hearing on Jan. 21, which determined whether or not the executive staff violated a bylaw regarding application periods for executive positions and the duration the applications must be open and publicized.

Kissinger said the board decided that the executive staff did violate the bylaw. They suggested the senate should not confirm Eric Martinez as director of communications or JaJuan Jackson as deputy director of student affairs.

In light of the ruling, Berkompas said Martinez and Jackson rescinded their resignation and are both reinstated as deputy directors of communications.

ASWSU Senator Diana Sotelo referred to Berkompas’ tweet about the senate not doing its due diligence for other students. She said she was unbiased against the candidates Berkompas brought to the senate.

“Our problem was with the way the applications were advertised in the first place,” Sotelo said.

Berkompas said he disagrees with the Judicial Board’s ruling but still plans to comply with it. The applications for the director of communications and deputy director for student affairs are posted on Engage and will be advertised on social media.

“I am not afraid — as I did publicly on my Twitter account — to voice my frustration that because of this, we will now have two vacancies,” he said.

ASWSU Senator Connor Simmons said one of his concerns is how Berkompas handles the hiring and application process.

“It is concerning to me, as a senator, to see multiple people working up on the third floor of the ASWSU office that had not been confirmed and were not being paid,” Simmons said. “I didn’t feel like that was fair to the senate … and those individual candidates themselves.”

Kissinger said the Judicial Board also recommended a new bylaw which would show transparency between the senate and the executive staff in terms of vacant positions in both branches.

A Writ of Mandamus will be issued to Berkompas for violating the bylaw, Kissinger said. A Writ of Mandamus is an order which would require Berkompas to fulfill his duties or correct a mistake.

One of the dissenting opinions for issuing Berkompas a Writ of Mandamus was that Berkompas should just get a letter of reprimand.

“This is the second time there’s been an issue with applications,” Kissinger said.

ASWSU Senator Hannah Martian said she acknowledges the tension between the senate and executive staff. She said her inquiries to the Judicial Board were to hold the executive staff accountable.

“It is not born out of personal vendetta, it is not born of the senate trying to be annoying or stir up drama,” Martian said. “We are here to serve all students.”