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Davis, California

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Accountability lost

Those of you who were fortunate enough to read my column last week have already been informed of the blatant irresponsibility that plagued the May 16 to 18 ASUCD budget hearings, as well as my prediction that no disciplinary action would result for the senator in question. However, anyone who showed enough interest in the matter, and continued on to Tuesday’s opinion page, would know that I was almost immediately proven wrong, or at least that was how things seemed.

On Tuesday I claimed that Senator Jesse Rosales would almost certainlyface no repercussions for his actionsat the budget hearings andcontinue to neglect his obligations to better serve the UC Davis community.I then went on to say thatthis lack of accountability within our student government represents a great injustice being done to UC Davis students, as well as tarnishes the office of ASUCD senator.

At the time of writing last week’s column, I firmly believed that our elected officials would do nothing in response to Rosalesdereliction of duty. However, it appeared at first that I had severely underestimated the accountability present within the ASUCD Senate.

The first signs of my underestimation came with a letter to the editor featured in Tuesday’s Aggie, stating the ASUCD Senate’s intention to place apersonae censureon Senator Rosales, in order to show thesenates disapprovalof Rosales earlier behavior. While an official reprimandsuch as a personae censure seemed a rather soft punishment, it was disciplinary action nonetheless and seemed to prove my previous judgments that ASUCD lacked any and all accountability completely wrong.

While this strongly worded letter to the editor gave me hope that I will someday be free of the burden of being perpetually proven right, the ASUCD Senate’s actions have shown that my streak of correctness is nowhere near an end. Thursday’s senate meeting demonstrated the complete lack of accountability within our student government, as the ASUCD Senate failed to place Rosales under any form of censure. Who possibly could have predicted that our elected student officials wouldn’t view an offense such as allocating student money while intoxicated as an offense worthy of some form of punishment?

Last week, I stated that it was the intent of my column to highlight and eradicate such irresponsible behavior from ASUCD, hoping that my bringing these issues to light would force our student government to handle these issues in a responsible and just manner.

However, it has become clear that ASUCD is incapable of holding its officials accountable. Such a lack of accountability begs the question as to why student senators would be so opposed to the idea of punishing unethical or irresponsible behavior. Perhaps this failure to punish one individual is indicative of a more widespread irresponsibility throughout the organization. Or maybe our elected officials have lost sight of their true purpose – the service of the student body – and have instead become too self-important to even entertain the idea that they should face consequences for their actions.

 

JAMES NOONAN does not enjoy attacking ASUCD sometimes they just make it too easy. Feel free to contact him at jjnoonan@ucdavis.edu.

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