Last week’s ASUCR senate meeting saw the passage of a “Resolution in Support of Upholding Due Process, Justice and Separation of Powers in the ASUCR.” This resolution is intended to clarify the events of last year’s ASUCR elections controversies and to absolve the censures and removals made by the prior senate.
Last year’s senate attempted a censure of then-President Nafi Karim and Executive Vice President Michael Ervin, who currently serves as the vice president of internal affairs. In addition, the prior senate removed their parliamentarian Mohammed “Momo” Hussein, who was elected as this year’s vice president of external affairs.
The resolution was read aloud to the members of the horseshoe by President Pro Tempore Corey Willis. Willis introduced the resolution, stating, “This is dealing with a lot of what happened last year and there’s actually a judicial council decision this year that basically overturned a lot of the decisions that were made last year, as well as declaring a lot of the actions of the previous year’s senate and other officials as being unconstitutional.”
A brief timeline of political actions made within ASUCR during the spring quarter of the 2014-15 academic school year were presented in this resolution. Some actions that were deemed as unconstitutional included the removal of two justices from the judicial branch, the censure of Karim and Ervin, the removal of Hussein and changes being made in the elections code during the week of elections.
The resolution affirmed that the “2014-15 ASUCR Justices, President, Executive Vice President, Parliamentarian and their respective staff have duly served the student body in their respective positions and shall be duly conferred with all the rights, benefits, and privileges afforded to all who have served in those respective positions.” The resolution passed with a standing vote of 12-0-0.
Reporting from the Highlander over the elections controversies was also referenced in the resolution. According to the resolution, “while reports surrounding the events of the Spring (sic) 2015 elections have attempted to cover both sides of the story, such coverage contained misrepresentations of facts, unobjective assertions, and misinformation.”
In addition, the student government “requests corrective measures on misrepresented facts to keep the student body informed, respecting the values of freedom of press while upholding the the need for the unbiased dissemination of objective facts.” As of press time, no student representative has contacted the Highlander to discuss or request corrections.
Also reviewed during the meeting were the changes made to Chapter XXIII of ASUCR’s bylaws regarding censure. Before the changes, members of ASUCR who were accused of failing to carry out their duties or of exhibiting behavior considered “an ethical breach of their respective office” could only be determined by the Senate, the ASUCR Constitution and ASUCR bylaws. With the changes, this power was also extended to the Judicial Council and Executive Cabinet.
Any member within ASUCR may be censured, with the term “member” being defined as “any elected member or appointed member that requires Senate confirmation, of all three of the branches.” The process in which a member of ASUCR may be censured has also been changed and is dependent on what branch of government in which the member resides.
Request of censure for members of the executive branch or the legislative branch will need to be submitted to the Judicial Council, with an Act of Censure being imposed by a majority vote by either the Senate or Executive Cabinet. A request for a member of the judicial branch will need to be submitted to the Executive Cabinet, and an Act of Censure will ultimately be decided by a majority vote by either the Senate or Judicial Council.
Additionally, action must be taken on a request for an Act of Censure within six weeks. Members who are censured will have any existing voting rights revoked and are no longer allowed to receive any stipend associated with their position in ASUCR. Lastly, any ASUCR member who is censured twice during their term in office will be put into the process of being removed from their position. The resolution passed with a unanimous vote.