Update: Selection Process for a New AS VP of External Affairs Has Begun

Photo courtesy of ASUCSD.

This article was updated on October 7. You can read the original breaking news article here.

Associated Students of UC San Diego (ASUCSD) Vice President of External Affairs (EVP) Tiger Huang announced his resignation during the first ASUCSD Senate meeting of the academic year on October 2. According to AS President Eleanor Grudin, Huang’s resignation was effective immediately on September 26.

“I have decided that in the spirit of opening leadership opportunities for my peers at UCSD, I will be resigning as Vice President of External Affairs of ASUCSD,” Huang said during public input at the Senate meeting. “This will allow me to both focus on my job as [Chief Financial Officer (CFO)] of [the UC Student Association (UCSA)] and give this opportunity to another dedicated student leader.”

Huang won an uncontested election in Spring Quarter 2019 as an independent candidate, after Tritons United (TU) political slate was disqualified, to become EVP. Among other responsibilities, the EVP oversees the Office of External Affairs, student voter outreach, and is the de facto campus representative to UCSA, which represents UC students statewide. In the past, the EVP and their staff have, among other campaigns, opposed tuition hikes, advocated for increased state funding for the UC system and improved student voter access.

AS President Grudin will convene a selection committee by Friday to appoint a new EVP. According to ASUCSD bylaws, the committee will include: President Grudin as Chair, VP of Campus Affairs Melina Reynoso, Financial Controller Ethan Christiansen, AVP of Local Affairs David Hickman, and three Senators appointed by the AS President. However, AVP Hickman, who also serves as a campus-wide senator, told The Triton that he will not sit on the committee due to a request from President Grudin that senators who hold positions in the External Office recuse themselves from the committee. Hickman did not comment on whether he plans to apply for the EVP position. All of the de facto members of the selection committee ran on the FRESH START political slate last spring.

“Historically those folks who work in the Office [of External Affairs] don’t have a seat at the table, and I don’t want to create a conflict of interest, because they would be working with this person, [the appointee], more intimately and have worked in the office before,” AS President Grudin told The Triton. “So having their input on the process would be valuable but not as the senator representative.”

AS Office of External Affairs Chief of Staff Kamron Williams will serve as Interim EVP until a replacement is appointed. Williams told The Triton that he plans to continue Huang’s priorities, including rebuilding the Triton Lobby Corps, a student advocacy organization in the External Affairs office that lobbies the state legislature and UC administration on behalf of students.

“Bringing back a formal lobby corps was among his priorities and the work of reforming the Triton Lobby Corps that Tiger entrusted to Senator Penugonda will surpass any of its former efforts, and I will support those endeavors to the best of my ability,” Williams told The Triton.

The application for the EVP position opened on October 5 and will close on October 21.

Samir Nomani is a Staff Writer for The Triton. Mo Al Elew is a Senior Staff Writer for The Triton. Ella Chen is the Editor-in-Chief of The Triton. Ethan Edward Coston is the Managing Editor of The Triton.

Correction October 2, 2019 at 10:03 p.m. A previous version of this article listed Huang’s position on the UC Student Association as Treasurer instead of Chief Financial Officer (CFO). While the UCSA website lists Huang’s position as Treasurer, the UCSA bylaws refer to his position as CFO. We apologize for this error.