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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Text of Cade Bernsen’s statement

    Editor’s note: Below is the text of the statement made by Cade Bernsen during last week’s ASUA senate meeting.

    My name is David Cade Bernsen and I am here today on Feb. 15 to make a statement concerning issues relating to the Associated Students of University of Arizona Senate. I wish that my statement be entered into the official senate minutes.

    Today will mark the next step in a process to determine whether or not I should be impeached.

    I believe sometimes in life we fail to see the big picture. Today I have asked that the proceedings be made public so that a bright light may be shed on the dark speculation and unknowns of this ordeal. Today, it is time to come out of the shadows. It is time the students, the senate and the community be shown the big picture. Currently, after being publicly falsely accused of sexual harassment, I am being investigated under the ideas of missed meetings. The public will see that these charges are petty, and not grounds for impeachment. Indeed, these charges are not the initial basis on which my impeachment was sought. In one of the final senate meetings last fall, the vice chair read an official statement saying that the senate would be investigating accusations of sexual misdeeds against me.

    On Nov. 29, I was told of the sexual allegations against me after the Arizona Daily Wildcat already knew about them, as was confirmed by editor in chief Aaron Mackey. At this same meeting, two major statements were made by those seeking my ouster. First, Sen. Matthew Boepple said “”we have enough votes to impeach you on sexual charges.”” Second, and most significant to this proceeding, Associate Dean Jim Drnek provided an opportunity for those present to discuss any accusations related to my impeachment when, after the sexual allegations were discussed, Drnek asked “”Is there anything else?”” Boepple stated, “”No, this is all we’ve got.”” Nothing about missed meetings of a single item of nonfeasance.

    Since that time, however, evidence has come out regarding the graphic sexual allegations against me, inconsistencies and false statements by my accusers have been demonstrated. Sworn statements by two eyewitnesses easily contradict false claims that were made about me. As is evident by their removal from impeachment charges, the allegations of sexual misconduct have been shown to be untrue and the case involving them in his proceeding has collapsed.

    After the truth comes out about the sexual claims, items of nonfeasance magically became the focus of impeachment. Despite Boepple’s denial of such in the Nov. 29 meeting and their absence in the official statement given by the senate.

    This I believe is a clear sign that those seeking my removal are reaching and fishing for any possible misstep that I could’ve made.

    I have an e-mail by Travis C. Shumake, Student Body President of Northern Arizona University, where he reveals a senator seeking my ouster asked him on Sept. 29, barely a month into the school year, “”How can we impeach someone?”” and asked him about past reasons for impeachment.

    In the day after my mother, my father, my grandmother, the rest of the student body and the community read in the newspaper graphic false descriptions of sexual harassment that in truth did not occur and heard about it on the news, Rhonda Tubbs wrote on her away message on America Online instant messenger “”going national wow”” with a link to an article written by the University of Texas student newspaper. This senator publicly advertised my humiliation.

    On Nov. 21, Tubbs drove numerous members of ASUA one by one to a secret meeting where they were asked to support my impeachment. Later, in a Dec. 7 Daily Wildcat article Sen. Tubbs is reported telling Wildcat reporters and the students of UA that she “”wasn’t a part of any meetings to plan Bernsen’s removal, nor was she aware of any meetings.””

    On Nov. 22, Boepple and Arizona Students’ Association director Chris Dang met with treasurer Keven Barker and attempted to convince him of my guilt and the need for my impeachment. They instructed Barker that most of the senators favored my impeachment. They instructed Barker to no make me aware of these accusations. In the same Dec. 7 Daily Wildcat article Boepple is reported as saying he wasn’t aware of any organized meetings conducted in private. After that article, Barker was threatened that he should remain silent about this.

    Under Section IVA of the procedures for impeachment that I was given yesterday, Boepple and Tubbs must (abstain) from any impeachment vote. That section states, “”Senators who have a conflict of interest of you have taken related action through university disciplinary processes must (abstain) from voting to impeach.””

    The issues being brought forth now are not good cause for any impeachment. I have fulfilled my duties to serve the students of the university. I have not been guilty of nonfeasance. I have never missed a meeting without good cause. Occasionally I have missed meetings because of school conflicts or because I was working for ASUA on someone of greater importance. There is no obligation that I attend every meeting that I was permitted to attend. There were good reasons for the delay in making the two appointments. There is no obligatory timetable for making appointments, the business and interests of ASUA were never harmed by the way I set priorities. I spend the entire summer working on ASUA business and I did not take a vacation and now I am being faulted for such things as missing a meeting when my home was hit by a hurricane and for missing a meeting the day after the graphic false sexual harassment accusations were published to the nation.

    I have asked that these proceedings be open to the public because it is time for some transparency to be bought to the accusations against me. I would welcome the opportunity to address each specific allegation against me in as much detail as necessary to convince each of you senators that none of these supports any argument that there is good cause for my impeachment. I am requesting that, if any of you honestly think that any of these accusations constitutes good cause for my impeachment, please tell me what are the specific accusations and give me an opportunity to address it before you vote to impeach me. Thank you.

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