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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Senate: Pres. absence had little impact

    Members of the student senate said the ongoing Dean of Students Office investigations involving student body President Cade Bernsen has had little effect on this semester’s senate operations.

    “”We still got our work done,”” said Associated Students of the University of Arizona Sen. Lexie Ettinger, a political science junior. “”We still accomplished our goals we set out to do.””

    Bernsen has been on paid leave of absence since January until the investigation concludes.

    Sen. Heather Spicer, a communication senior, said the ASUA Senate wanted to end the year on a good note and the best thing was to learn the lesson and move on.

    “”All in all, you take what you can get and make the best of it,”” Spicer said.

    Spicer said Bernsen’s semester-long absence was very separate from the senate’s other business and didn’t take a huge toll on the organization.

    Sen. Jami Reinsch, a media arts junior, said she wished the investigation had wrapped up sooner so everyone could put it behind them.

    “”It definitely prolonged the case,”” Reinsch said. “”I think it would’ve been easier on the senate if it had been done near the beginning of the year.””

    The Bernsen investigations revolved around sexual harassment charges in November and complaints filed after Bernsen fired five student officials in January.

    Although the sexual assault and indecent exposure charges were dropped last month, the results from both investigations are still pending.

    Interim ASUA Executive Vice President David Reese said although the length of the investigation has left some uncertainty in the organization, he is confident the results will be thorough.

    “”I’m sure they’re doing whatever is appropriate to cover all the bases,”” Reece said.

    Veda Kowalski, associate dean of students, told the Arizona Daily Wildcat in January the length of each investigation varies case by case.

    “”Any investigation will continue until it’s final,”” said Kowalski in January.

    Bernsen declined to comment on the leave of absence or any other aspect of ASUA.

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