ASUC academic affairs vice president resigns, effective immediately

Michael Drummond/File

ASUC Academic Affairs Vice President Jeanette Corona announced Sunday night that she is resigning from her position.

Among other responsibilities, the AAVP oversees the ASUC’s relationship with the Academic Senate, handling the appointment of student representatives to its decision-making committees. The AAVP also facilitates student-run programs and provides grants.

Corona ran as a candidate with CalSERVE, a student political party. Specifically, she focused on the platforms of improving mental health resources, increasing financial literacy among students and aiding students’ transition to postgraduate life.

In her statement sent to ASUC officials, Corona wrote that due to unforeseen extenuating circumstances, she would no longer be able to fulfill the role’s responsibilities and felt it was in the best interest of the ASUC that she vacate the position.

“I understand the position in which this places the ASUC, and hope that ASUC leaders will move forward in a productive and respectful manner that ensures the best outcome for students,” she wrote. “I also hope the student body will understand how difficult it has been for me to come to this decision, and will respect my privacy and mental health during this challenging time.”

Corona could not be reached for comment Sunday night.

According to the ASUC constitution bylaws, the senate will form a temporary committee composed of seven elected officials to select a replacement nominee in the event of a vacancy in an executive office. The nominee must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the entire senate.

ASUC President Pavan Upadhyayula will assume the authority of the office in the meantime. Upadhyayula and Denim Ohmit, the chief of staff of the AAVP office, both said they would work together to ensure that the office continues to work smoothly.

Ohmit said he and the AAVP staff will help manage the day-to-day operations of the office.

“When she did break the news, I was of course disappointed that I won’t be able to work with her this year,” Ohmit said. “But I really respect her decision. She prioritized mental health over expectations that people have for her and made the decision to do what’s best for students, the ASUC and for her.”

Both Upadhyayula and Ohmit said they hope the executive offices and senate would work together in finding the best candidate for the position.

“Moving forward, I’ll be working with the chief in the office to make sure things run smoothly,” Upadhyayula said. “Both sides are not trying to make this into a political power grabbing.”

Upadhyayula said he intends for the selection committee to be formed by the first senate meeting, which will be Sept. 3, with nominees selected by the second senate meeting. He estimates that the vetting process would take about a week after the nominations.

Resignations by ASUC executives are not common. In 2000, then-AAVP Jen Chang resigned from office, citing issues with internal politics.

In addition to selecting a new AAVP, the ASUC will also have to appoint an attorney general in the coming weeks as well. ASUC Attorney General Kevin Sabo said he was confident in the abilities of the AAVP office and, in general, the ASUC’s ability to continue functioning efficiently.

“Although this is a difficult situation for the ASUC, it’s an incredible opportunity for the ASUC to work together to solve this really pressing issue,” Ohmit said. “It provides an opportunity for the ASUC to move beyond petty politics and partisanship to work respectfully and collaboratively and select the right person to serve students.”

Sophie Ho is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @sophanho.