ASG’s Musical Chairs — Third President Takes Office this Year


Photo by: Jo Murrieta

Acting ASG President Marisol Valdivia takes office following the sudden resignation of former President Angela Van Gilder, Feb. 5, 2019.

Story By: Hannah Lanier and Jo Murrieta

Vice President Marisol Valdivia becomes the third ASG president after the body voted unanimously to remove Angela Van Gilder who became president on Nov. 6, 2018.   

Van Gilder announced her resignation at the beginning of the regularly scheduled ASG meeting before the body could take up the item on the agenda, “vote for the removal of the president—hearing.”

The hearing was intended to give Van Gilder an opportunity to defend herself against the accusations, including failure to perform required duties such as attending ASG sponsored events; disrespect towards other ASG members and higher ranking administration officials in the work environment, and public embarrassment [arguing with others in an inappropriate place]; her accusers said her behavior affected ASG in a negative way.

Van Gilder said she chose to resign because she had too much respect for herself to continue working in an environment where she feels disrespected.

Sean Henderson dean of student services, said Van Gilder acted informally rather than following standard procedure which requires an official declaration of resignation of her position.

Henderson explained that following Van Gilder’s exit, the ASG council had two options — to either continue with its original intent to vote on the president’s dismissal or to declare that Van Gilder has abandoned her position after she misses three consecutive ASG meetings.

“The other person may not be in the room, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have the right [to defend themselves]. I encourage you to vote,” said Henderson.

Then Vice President Valdivia chose to continue with the scheduled agenda for the meeting, and the body voted to remove Van Gilder even though she had already resigned.

“My jaw was on the floor,” Henderson said about Van Gilder’s impromptu resignation.

“There’s people that resign all the time, with the president resigning we need to keep moving forward,” Ernie Martinez, ASG advisor, said.

Van Gilder became ASG president on Nov. 6 after the consecutive absences of former president Christopher Washington, who was held in the Fresno County jail following his arrest. Washington was eventually charged with one felony count of dissuading a witness and sentenced to a year in jail.

The Associated Student Government council plans to appoint a vice president at its next meeting on Feb. 12 at 3 p.m.