Ali Khan on assuming AS presidency following Garcia resignation and vice president vacancy
In an interview at the Corsair Newsroom on Thursday afternoon, Ali Khan discussed Pablo Garcia's sudden resignation as the Associated Students president and his own ascension to the role. Khan, who had won the office of Vice President unopposed during May's student elections, was caught by surprise when Garcia, who had won the presidency itself, resigned before assuming office.
"A few days before the fourth, probably July 1 or second, Sonali [Bridges, AS Dean], wanted to meet. She mentioned it had something to do with the Associated Students," recalled Khan.
"We met at school which is where she told me that Pablo had resigned," he said. Khan was only told that Garcia had resigned over personal reasons, the news came as a surprise. Khan has not spoken with Garcia in the time since he learned of the resignation.
"I think he's a good guy. I never foresaw him dropping out, I just didn't expect it," he said.
Due to the bylaws and structure of the campus's student constitution, Khan became AS President. "We now have a vacant seat for the Vice President," said Khan.
"We still have to establish election code," he explained. "As fall has not begun yet we haven't had an election code meeting." Once fall semester begins the AS will finalize plans for a new election which will be publicized for two weeks. Only then will a new Vice President be elected. Any SMC student enrolled in six credits or more is eligible to apply for the job and run in the elections.
"I've had to shift because the president's job is a little more packed than the vice president's job," said Khan in discussing the sudden change of titles. In fact, Khan will still need to fulfill many vice presidential responsibilities in parallel with his new role as president, but only until a proper replacement is found.
"I've had to speak a lot with my board, as well as my advisor here and there, to try and discuss what actions we're going to take. How the board is going to be different, what our goals are going to be like," said Khan.
According to Khan, at the moment there doesn't appear to be much of a radical shift between his agenda and Garcia's. "We both appreciate collaboration so in that way we're similar. Differences, I can't really tell you because me and Pablo never really discussed policies together," he said.
For the first week of fall semester AS will prepare a VIP Welcome Day event and promoting the need to join clubs.
For now Khan has undertaken an intense, scholarly look at all the minutes and AS agendas of the past year or so. "I'm half way through, just looking to see what situations last year maybe caused some dissension or confusion on the board, whether it was communication or differences in opinion related to events. That's taken a lot of time," he said.
"There are a lot more meetings. I think a lot more people desire your attention when you're the president sometimes, I guess. You're now the first person people try to reach out to from other organizations," he added.