BREAKING: ASI president resigns for undisclosed reasons


Xavier Zamora

Former ASI president, Jaime Arellano during the Oct. 6 Board of Directors meeting.

Anne To, Will Baker, Brian Lai, Multimedia Reporter & multimedia and social media editor

In an Instagram post, ASI announces that Jaime Arellano resigned as president on Nov. 15.

The post explained that according to ASI bylaws, “The Vice President for Administration will assume the responsibilities of the President until a new President has been appointed.”

Arellano does not wish to comment on the matter currently. Sasha Prakir, Vice president for external Affairs and Advancement said, “Unfortunately, due to the confidential nature of the event, I am not sure how much I’m at liberty to reveal.” Prakir referred the UT to Barnaby Peake to get a more detailed answer.

According to ASI Executive Director Barnaby Peake, they were only made aware of the resignation yesterday.

“His resignation didn’t include very many details, and I haven’t had the chance to talk with him directly,” said Peake.

ASI Bylaws state that there is a line of succession that goes down the different executive officers.

“The next couple of days is me having conversations with the other executive officers to see if anyone is interested in assuming the role,” Peake said. “If none of them are willing or able to take on responsibilities, then we’ll have to see our next course of action. We might not know more about that until after Thanksgiving.”

For now, Brian Nguyen, the Vice President for Administration, will be taking over Arellano’s duties.

Some of the responsibilities that Nguyen will be taking over include: chairing committees, attending campus meetings in place of the president, and making statements on behalf of ASI.

Nguyen has yet to respond for a comment.

But this was not a surprise to individuals who have been going to recent ASI meetings.

Here’s a timeline of what happened leading up to the announcement.

Oct. 6 meeting

During the public comments at the Oct. 6 ASI meeting, multiple students said that the former ASI president was not addressing student concerns and alleged that there were Title IX cases filed against him by former ASI members.

The Title IX statute prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, as well as transgender status in employment. The statute means to protect others from sexual harassment and misconduct, but employees involved are required by law to maintain complete confidentiality on these incidents as the university investigates such claims.

Title IX cases do not mean that accusations made are credible and require a full investigation by that office to follow up on any complaint made.

Arellano denied the accusations during the public comments repeatedly.

“When I said there is no open title or active Title IX case, that just means there’s no criminal investigation. There’s no investigation at all,” Arellano said during the last ASI meeting. “I was called in because of those misbehavior’s. Title IX officers did tell me about them and all of my board thought about it. And honestly, I took that to heart because it was never my intention to make someone feel uncomfortable.”

Other than students alleging that Arellano has had weird interactions with women, there were no other clear accusations said during the public comment section.

“I do want to be transparent with the students with what actually happened,” Arellano said. “What I can guarantee you students, is that I did not rape anyone, there’s no sexual misconduct, [and] there’s no sexual harassment.”

Those in attendance were visibly shocked and recoiled when the president used that language.

“What made me come to the ASI meeting is because of the overwhelming amount of issues that we have here on campus that continue to be not addressed and completely ignored,” said Anabell Rangel, a SQE intern. “One of the issues being how deteriorated King Hall is, the lack of mental health counselors that we have on campus…in addition to the elevators that constantly get stuck and the lack of resources that students have here on campus, which is extremely horrible.”

The campus announced in April that the “King Hall Replacement Project” would construct a new building to replace King Hall.

SQE intern Marcia Moran spoke out during public comments, claiming that the ASI president was not doing enough for the campus.

“Myself, and other students and faculty demand more transparency and action towards student issues that negatively impact students, as well as hold accountability towards leaders who make false promises, waste funding on events that do not benefit students, and who make students downright uncomfortable,” Moran claimed during the previous ASI meeting. “The fact that we are two months into the semester and these issues are barely being discussed today is very telling of where your priorities are set and that needs to change today.”

Oct. 20 meeting

Within minutes of the ASI Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 20, the board motioned to remove an item from the agenda for the “consideration to remove an ASI Board Member,” which was defined as Action Item C.

The ASI member that was being considered for removal was the former president himself, according to Arellano.

Action Item C was added to the agenda after the previous ASI meeting, on Oct. 6, where students called for the removal of the former ASI president during public comments.

During the previous meeting, both the ASI executive director, Barnaby Peake, and ASI executive director assistant, Dena Flores, were not present.

“They’re usually the liaisons, the advisors council to the president and to the board,” Arellano said. “Unfortunately, because we did not have them, we made a move that was too premature. Hence, why it gave a perception that we were going to remove an ASI member today, but that was not the case.”

The exact reasoning as to why the item was added to the agenda is confidential, according to Arellano.

Of the 14 people at the meeting, only two people spoke during public comments, Diana Chavez, who previously served as ASI President, and the president of the Esports Club, George Parra.

Chavez was the first to call for the removal of the former ASI president during the Oct. 6 Board of Directors meeting and she also spoke up at the Oct. 20 one.

“With what’s going on in the presidential leadership, it’s truly uncalled for and it shouldn’t be going on anymore than today,” Chavez said during public comments, in response to the removal of Action Item C. “It’s unfortunate that you guys postponed it, but I’m sure you guys have a logical reasoning behind it. I just wanted to say that I really do hope that you all listen to your fellow ASI members in voting out your president.”

The next Board of Directors meeting for ASI is November 29 at the Student Union. Students at Cal State LA are always welcome to attend and make a public comment at the start of the meeting. For more information about ASI, visit their website.

Mia Alva contributed to this story.