Theophilus Savini elected ASOC Senate president, student body fee amendment deemed invalid

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Students officially voted Theophilus Savini (junior) to serve as next year’s Associated Students of Occidental College (ASOC) President Friday.

“I was nervous about opening [the e-mail with the election results], because I knew it was going to be a close race,” Savini said, “I opened it, then I closed my eyes and just breathed a huge sigh of relief.”

His opponent, Judy Lee (sophomore), also acknowledged the close nature of the election. Lee said that that although she knew losing was a possibility, she never regretted running for the position.

“I am very proud of myself for putting myself out there,” Lee said via email. “I learned a lot, and I feel great.”

Savini named commitments to diversity as well as providing structural support for marginalized groups on campus as some of the goals for his presidency.

Current ASOC President Grace Hancock (junior) is confident that Theo will excel in his role as president next year. She also looks forward to continuing her participation in the Senate as vice president of financial affairs.

Acknowledging the controversial impeachment of former ASOC President Christopher Weeks (junior) April 13, both Hancock and Savini stressed their commitment to increasing the level of transparency between Senate and the larger Occidental community. Hancock also said that she specifically wants to make information about what Senate funding decisions more clear to the student body.

“We really want to move forward in a positive direction,” she said.

Jarron Williams (first-year) was elected as next year’s vice president of academic affairs. In this position, he hopes to increase support and funding for the textbook reserve program and to add more reading days to the academic schedule.

“More reading days are needed on this campus to help students feel more comfortable going into their final exam,” Williams said. “There’s more worry than preparing going on.”

He also discussed the possibility of modifying the registration process next year, referencing notifications about wait-list openings as one of the proposed changes.

Other results from the election include Mallory Leeper (sophomore) as vice president for internal affairs, Savannah D’Orazio (first-year) as vice president for external affairs and Sarah Mosley (first-year) for vice president for sustainability. Amy Pino and Richard Pfleeger were selected as the sophomore class senators, Denzel Tongue and Julia D’Amours as the junior class senators and Antoniqua Roberson and Marielle Pena as the senior class senators. In addition, Earl Park (junior), Flora Adamian* (first-year) and Maureen Lounsberry (junior) were elected Honor Board jurors.

Three constitutional amendments were also included on the ballot. The first, requiring meetings between ASOC branches in an effort to increase transparency and communication, passed by a vote of 588 in favor, 65 against. An amendment to increase the budget of The Occidental Weekly did not pass, with a vote of 387 in favor and 274 against.

A third proposed amendment aimed to move the approval process for changes in student body fees to a student body vote. Currently, Honor Board votes to determine the constitutionality and fairness of those changes. However, the amendment was deemed ineligible because different two petitions were used to get it on the ballot, according to an email sent by Assistant Dean of Students Tamara Himmelstein to students Friday. One stated that a two-thirds vote in favor of the change in the fee was required for approval, while the other said only a majority vote was needed. Neither amendment had enough signatures—30 percent of the student body, or 617 students—to officially be voted on.

*Adamian is a staff member of the Occidental Weekly.