The Associated Students Senate continued to go forward with the impeachment process of A.S. President John Ahn at yesterday’s A.S. meeting.
This action came after a complaint was presented to the Senate that accused Ahn of harassment against another member of the Senate.
The process began when Sen. Wayne Bergman presented the complaint to the Senate and moved to send the matter for judicial review on Oct. 1.
The motion passed without opposition and Vice President Joey Victor immediately took over Ahn’s duties starting at the meeting.
Bergman presented an email Ahn allegedly sent the senator, who is bringing the allegateions, asking that person to attend church weekly as a condition of taking the leadership position.
Bergman also passed out a complaint letter the Senator had written stating other accusations towards Ahn for allegedly religiously and verbally harassing them.
“That commitment was voluntary, they asked me to draft it […] I have been elected to represent and serve the students, with all my heart I have tried to send a friendly message,” said Ahn.
In addition to weekly church service, the commitment included Ahn’s desire for the senator to read a chapter of the Bible every day, meet with a Bible instructor for two hours each week and commit to self-prayer every day
“This contract has no intentions to force religion in [the senator’s] life but [be] an educational step toward a collaborative effort,” said Ahn.
After passing a motion, the Senate convened an emergency meeting and the A.S. Judicial Committee reviewed the complaints last Wednesday. The committee agreed to approve the impeachment motion.
“[We] followed the by-laws and felt it was in A.S. best interest to request [his] removal, [he] violated district policies,” said Joshua Kleinbergs, Senete Exec. Pro Tem and head of the Judicial Committee.
The A.S. Judicial Committee members are Victor, A.S. Treasurer Alex Trigueros, Kleinbergs, and Bergman. Director of student affairs and A.S. advisor Darlene Jensen was present as a parliamentary guest to ensure the committee was following the process properly.
Referring to district policies, Vice President of Student Services Toni DuBois refused to let A.S. continue charging Ahn based off of district policies and clarified that they must stick to the A.S. Constitution and By-Laws.
The committee could not pass any motion regarding the policies Ahn allegedly violated but sent forward a recommendation to administrators to overview the case.
“It’s not personal, regardless of who the claim is against the same process would be taken,” said A.S. Sen. Jose Solano.
Ahn was able to give a direct response presenting his case to the Senate expressing the concerns or questions the members may have.
He handed out a written statement and asked the presenter of the complaint letter to come forward and present legitimate evidence on the actions he allegedly committed.
Kleinbergs expressed his reluctance to be involved with the case due to conflict of interests and decided to remove himself from any decisions dealing with the impeachment process.
“We want someone looking into the case as an impartial person,” said Victor.
At yesterday’s meeting Bergman presented a motion to have a separate sub-committee comprised of four students overview, investigate, and fairly judge the case and send a recommendation to the Senate on the actions that should be taken for the process.
A.S. proposed having two representatives from the Senate, one from a student club, and one unaffiliated student, and to have one faculty member present.
The students must be present at the next Senate meeting on Oct. 15 to express their qualifications and must sign a confidentiality agreement.
Ahn expressed his concern of dealing with an unfair process by asking how the Senate will keep the qualified students from having biased feelings towards him.
Victor clarified there will be no friends or family members in the committee but A.S. will not be able to stop anybody from having their own opinions.
“[You] are just delaying the operation and duties A.S. needs to conduct, until there is substantial evidence collected, let me return and serve the students,” said Ahn.
If Ahn is impeached, Victor would move into Ahn’s position with the new Executive Pro-Tem and head of the A.S. Judicial Committee, Joshua Kleinbergs, acting as vice president.
Victor then commented, “Hopefully there will be no more disciplinary problems after the process is finished, [we] will be able to become more about the students, that’s what [we] are supposed to be focused on.”
The A.S. Senate will reconvene Tuesday to begin discussing sub-commitee members.