I feel compelled to write and share my perspective on the events surrounding the ASUA Escort Service van, simply because I am enraged about President Trujillo blaming Greg Gemson, the ASUA Escort Service Director for the "mishap" surrounding the van as described in Tuesday's Wildcat article ("Escort van defect causes ASUA feud").
Even before receiving the recall notice, Greg spent the summer contacting local car dealerships, the Alumni Association and the Foundation in search of outside funds to purchase a new van. This included writing a formal request to the Foundation, as part of a proposal submitted by President Trujillo. After finding little or no response from these potential contributors, Greg received the recall notice and realized the urgency of the situation. At that point Greg and I decided to go ahead and purchase a new van.
While President Trujillo accused Director Gemson and I of negligence by not addressing donors in a "timely manner," we made the decision that the safety of our volunteers and of the students, faculty and staff who depend on the service took precedence over continuing a fruitless search for funds. When the ASUA Escort Service took over the Disabled Cart Service, ASUA was allocated $25,000 to be used to fulfill the needs of the Escort Service , and we recognized that the situation called for the use of this money.
Although I realize that saving money should be a concern and priority of the ASUA president, I must contend that the safety and health of volunteers such as Tim Walker are a little more important. While my decision may have appeared to be frivolous, it was a reflection of my belief that students' safety should never be sacrificed in hopes of "approaching the Alumni Association." I'd rather be accused of negligence than see another ASUA volunteer be hurt in the name of saving funds so that they could be applied to more important things, like dinner for staff. I admit in this case I was looking out for my own priorities: students.
Anndrea S. Kawamura
ASUA Vice-President of Programs and Services
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