Interim Treasurer Elected; AAS Rethinks Treasurer Position
By Brianda Reyes '14, Managing News Editor
Last Tuesday, Jan. 24, Katrina Gonzales ’12 resigned from her position as Association of Amherst Students (AAS) Treasurer. This past Monday, Jan. 31, she officially announced her resignation before the Senate.

Philip Johnson ’11 is now serving as Interim Treasurer until the next election is held. Johnson’s stepping in as Interim Treasurer was constitutionally necessary.

“The constitution calls for a treasurer in the interim until elections can be held,” Senator Jared Crum ’11 said.

The Budgetary Committee unanimously voted Johnson Interim Treasurer. The committee’s right to elect an Interim Treasurer is given in the Constitution, in Article 4, Section D, Clause 4.

Due to this constitutional clause, Johnson renounced all of his positions in other committees. Prior to his election as Interim Treasurer, Johnson was the Elections Committee Chair. He has since surrendered this position to Josh Mayer ’13. Mayer became the committee chair on Thursday, when the Elections Committee held an internal election.

Johnson is set to remain as Interim Treasurer until the next election is held. However, there is not yet a set date for that election. According to Mayer, the constitution does not mandate any specific time frame for the next election.

“The Elections Committee has not decided on an election date yet,” Mayer said, “but we are meeting sometime this week before the next Senate meeting to see if, and when, we should have it.”

Mayer said that the committee fears the election will not receive enough votes to warrant a new Treasurer. There are already elections being held for students to fill three vacancies on the Senate, two in the class of 2012 and one in the class of 2011. Having two elections so close together would not allow for a proper “democratic vote.”

The Senate is also working to re-imagine the office of the Treasurer due to prior problems with the position. In order to determine the best way to change the Treasurer position, a committee has been created specifically for that purpose. This commission on the role of the Treasurer is headed by Crum.

“We’re very excited to re-imagine the position, because a consensus has formed over the past few treasurers that we need to make the job more manageable,” Crum said.

According to Crum, one of the ideas proposed is to make the position a paid position. Gonzales and Johnson first proposed the idea in Dec. when they came before the Senate and cited that, because the position demanded such a large time commitment, a stipend would be appropriate.

Another proposal is to divide the position between two people. One of these would serve as the treasurer while the other would serve as a comptroller. The treasurer would deal with political issues while the comptroller would deal with technical issues.

Currently, the treasurer commission group is meeting once a week. Their first meeting was held on Sunday, Jan. 30.

“We meet, discuss our ideas, make them concrete, and after a couple of meetings, we plan to present our ideas to the Senate,” Crum said.

He expects that their proposal should be completed in two or three weeks. To make their ideas more accurate, they are contacting other departments around campus to see how they could help improve the treasurer position. For example, the commission contacted IT to see if the budget clerks could access the computers from their own computers so they could work more efficiently.

“We need to investigate to see if these ideas are feasible,” Crum said.

Issue 13, Submitted 2011-02-02 03:27:37