Tempers flared between Associated Student Government members during the ASG meeting on Feb. 26.
Sen. Salvador Orozco and Sen. Carlos Araujo walked out during ASG President Genesis Gilroy’s executive report regarding the cancellation of Palomar College’s participation in the March in March event.
March in March is an annual student rally that takes place in Sacramento, where community colleges around California come together to advocate to policy makers the need for college education to be more accessible.
Gilroy said that the ASG’s aim was to get 35 students to sign up by the RSVP date on Feb.20.
However, when the date came they only had 21 students on the list.
“We assigned Sen. Salvador Orozco as the chair for the event and he was responsible for doing the research…ordering the food, rallying students and getting them to sign up,” Gilroy said.
Gilroy said that since they did not make the quota, Orozco requested that the executive office, which included Gilroy and Vice President Shant Soghomonian, make a decision whether to go to the event regardless of the lack of people, food and travel preparations or to completely cancel Palomar College’s participation.
She also mentioned that Orozco had four months to prepare but waited until the last two weeks to begin.
Regarding the time and monetary limitations, she and Soghomonian decided to cancel attending the event.
Orozco said the lack of numbers was due to student apathy on campus but he still wanted the executives to approve the $5000 fund for the event and continue on as was previously planned.
“I think it was an investment to the students,” Orozco said. “I think it was still worth it.”
However, Soghomonian said, “I can’t justify spending $5000 to send 20 students, I can’t. It makes no sense.”
According to Gilroy, there was also a lot of work that had to be done such as planning forums, student polls, and the upcoming election and she said, “We could not afford to lose another task to be able to accommodate this one poorly.”
Gilroy said that she believes that Orozco and Araujo walked out of the ASG meeting because they did not like the executive decision.
“There were some angry words that had been said between ASG members and they left when I voiced my displeasure about that in my report,” she said.
Soghomonian also mentioned, “Senator Araujo came to my office on Friday screaming at me that we didn’t have the right to make executive decisions.”
Gilroy said it was a communication issue because Orozco never voiced a need for help.
However, she mentioned it was a learning experience for the entire board and they have benefited from what had happened.
According to her, the ASG members were able to sit down and talk about how to communicate to each other more effectively and work together.
“As a board, when we have concerns we come to each other, we voice them and we work through it,” Gilroy said. “We want to remain professional, we want to remain united,” she added.
Orozco also mentioned that he wanted to continue to build a good relationship with members of the executive board on a professional level as well as friends.
“Me and Genesis and Soghomonian already talked it out and we’re coming together to pick up the pieces and not to ruin this relationship,” Orozco said.
In addition, Soghomonian said that the goal was success including being a successful ASG.
“Specifically, success means coming back together,” he added, “to put all this behind us and move forward.”