Oyarzabal steps down as ASCC Vice President


Perla Lara

ASCC Senate Vice President Ivan Oyarzabal during the Wednesday Nov. 4 senate meeting. Oyarzabal submitted his resignation on Thursday, Jan 14.

Reminiscent of spring 2015, this semester sees yet another ASCC vice president stepping down from his position.

On Thursday, Jan. 14 ASCC Vice President Ivan Oyarzabal submitted his letter of resignation.

Dr. Gilbert Contreras, dean of Student Services said in a statement, “His resignation leaves a huge hole in a key ASCC leadership position, however, we wish Ivan continued success at Cerritos College and beyond.

“Our staff will work closely with ASCC President Eduardo De La Rosa, to provide ASCC with a timely transition to fill the vice president position.

Jessica Germata, commissioner of external affairs, is being considered as the new vice presidential appointee.

Germata would have to be approved by senate at the Wednesday, Jan. 20 meeting unless De La Rosa issues executive order.

Talon Marks reached out to De La Rosa for comment but did not receive a reply.

Oyarzabal said in a message, “I will make a statement off the record. I’d like to keep the details of my personal life out of the public eye.”

The resignation came after a letter expressing dissatisfaction was sent to the ASCC vice president written by senator Daniel Flores-Resendiz.

Senator Luis Guzman stated, “He put a lot allegations in it and I guess that’s what made Ivan want to resign.”

Party whip Gloria Sedano said, “I think the allegations made it pretty clear.

“We understood that Ivan was going through a lot of issues as any [other] college student […] and the email was meant to remove somebody from a position who couldn’t handle doing the job of the presidency and deal with his own personal problems at the same time.”

Sedano assured that it was not an attack on the person but rather the letter was written for the betterment of the students.

She expressed that senate was lacking due to the personal issues that Oyarzabal was going through, so the decision was best for everyone.

One of the allegations in the letter pertained to agendas not being sent out in a “proper manner” according to Guzman.

“Sometimes we had meetings that were invalid because of that […] they weren’t sent in a timely fashion.”

The party whip expressed how not sending out the agenda in a timely fashion affected senate meetings.

“There was one time where the third time that we had an issue with the agenda was because he forgot to add an item, so it wasn’t able to be discussed, it was an item that was tabled for that meeting.

“It was tabled [at the prior meeting] and we were supposed to discuss it and it was not written properly.”

Sedano continued, “Twice before that he didn’t post the agenda on time, one of those being the first meeting of senate (for the fall semester) and we couldn’t have a meeting because of Brown Act violation.

The Brown Act states that the agenda needs to be posted 72 hours before the meeting.

This made the meetings in which an agenda was lacking in a timely fashion unofficial.

Guzman lamented, “We had a lot of cancelled meetings […] the first one was cancelled, the last one didn’t count.”

The senator is referring to the last meeting of the fall semester, which was invalid because it took place during “dead week” the week prior to finals.

“That wasn’t communicated with us, us as senators didn’t know and we went and we voted on a lot of things, legislations,” Guzman said.

Guzman stated that during the winter break senators were notified that the meeting and legislations passed were invalid and had to be done all over again.

“That frustrated a lot of the senators,” he concluded.

Sedano noted. “To be fair that falls hugely on the part of administration.”

She listed times in the past where senate met during dead week.

“We had two meetings last year, one was a regular senate session and the other was a special meeting and if the student government officers are not aware of this, then administration should probably step in and let them know.

“If its invalid its invalid, there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Guzman stated that some senators were confused during meetings “because sometimes Ivan would change up the rules.”

Sedano attributed this to Oyarzabal being confused and not being very familiar with parliamentary procedure.

She said, “Senators would have to correct him, past officers would have to correct him and a lot of senators were not satisfied with the way he led senate because he wasn’t too knowledgeable on parliamentary procedure and the meetings were confusing.

“People got frustrated with the lack of efficiency, so I don’t think we will see a lot of senators complaining about the action that was being taken.”

“Most senators will acknowledge that it was for everybody’s benefit,” she concluded.

Sedano expressed, “We didn’t feel like he was doing his job very efficiently. No personal attacks on the person himself, it was just the work ethic, we felt like it was lacking.

“We’re not criticizing him or anything, we understand that everyone goes through issues and in the long run he’s going to feel much better now that he doesn’t have all of this pressure on him as vice president.”

Guzman sympathized with Oyarzabal, “I really feel for him, I understand that he’ll get through this because you have to move on from this, just keep focusing on school.

“I know he’s into theater, so he has something there for him.”