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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ASUA impeachment rewrite postponed for second week

    The UA student government continued their discussion of impeachment bylaws at their weekly Senate meeting last night, eventually tabling the item for next week’s meeting.

    “”It’s just something we’ve been wanting to change for a while,”” said Jessica Anderson, executive vice president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. “”And now we are.””

    Senate members are sifting through the current bylaws, section by section, reforming the rules that spell out the process of impeachment. The item was tabled last week to give senators time to research certain sections of the bylaws.

    Such impeachment bylaw discussions gained attention in the 2005-06 school year when then-ASUA President Cade Bernsen was the subject of accusations ranging from office misconduct to sexual harassment.

    While charges of indecent exposure and sexual assault were thrown out, Bernsen was found guilty of sexually harassing four students while in office.

    Shortly after the accusations, Bernsen fired three ASUA directors and two cabinet members for “”spreading lies”” about him, according to a May 2006 report by the Daily Wildcat.

    Sen. Brian Seastone warned the senate not to make the changes too specific under certain sections, as it would allow for less flexibility in the future.

    While the senate would be in executive session to decide the next steps in the impeachment of a hypothetical ASUA official, the official in question should have access to the minutes so that they know what has been said about them in the meeting, said Sen. Jason Mighdoll.

    “”I feel that either the official needs to be in the executive session or they need to have access to (the meeting’s information),”” Sen. Bryan Baker said. “”If you’re going to bring an argument against someone, you should be able to do it to their face, and if they’re not going to be in that room for sensitivity reasons, they should at least know what was said about them and the arguments against them.””

    Anderson clarified that often when such charges are brought against an ASUA official, they are taken out of office indefinitely and thus would not have the right to attend or take part in such an executive session.

    “”Obviously that does need to be clarified on their access to the minutes,”” Anderson told the Senate. “”You absolutely can take your time. I don’t anticipate anyone being impeached the next couple of weeks, and so it’s just more important that they’re right rather than approved in any time frame.””

    Since the senate tabled the bylaw changes for the second consecutive week, they will be unable to table it again next week. If the changes are not approved at the March 4 meeting, the senate must wait and re-enter the bylaw changes as a new item the following week.

    Although discussion of the changes is stretching on over the course of several weeks, there is no rush to immediately approve the new impeachment bylaws, Seastone said.

    “”It may be worth it to just take it off the table next week and bring it back after all of (the Senate’s) questions are answered,”” he said. “”I don’t think you’re going to be able to get those answers in a week. There is no hurry on it. Do it right.””

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