The role of an ASUCD senator is to monitor student activities and services, oversee the budget, initiate new projects and – at the very least – attend weekly Senate meetings and hold office hours.
Unless, of course, your name is Chad Roberts.
Roberts hasn’t shown up to a Senate meeting since Oct. 23, and has attended just four of the seven meetings this quarter. He also hasn’t authored any legislation, and his only real suggestion – to create a Legislative Analysts‘ Office to research and discuss Senate resolutions and bills prior to voting – was ill-advised.
In fact, the extent of his legislative career in the senate has been co-authorship of one senate bill. Over Roberts‘ entire term, he has missed eight of 20 Senate meetings and been late to or left early from two more.
In short, Roberts is failing in his duties and isn’t even capable of consistently showing up to meetings. When he did attend, the usefulness of his contributions was dubious at best.
The fact that the Senate won’t take any action on the issue is just as troubling.
The Senate decided on Nov. 13 that Roberts‘ behavior was inappropriate, but it won’t discipline him as his term is almost up.
Instead, it will take a course of inaction, continuing to pay him $49 per week to do nothing. The Senate should not only terminate his pay, but also demand the return of the wasted funds it spent on Roberts.
The Senate has authored legislation regarding holding certain amounts of office hours. It should do the same with Senate meeting attendance, and monetary consequences should be the penalty.
Roberts graduated from UC Davis in the spring, which may have something to do his lack of interest in the position.
Recent Senator-elect Danny Garrett is a similar situation in that he, too, could graduate prior to the completion of his term.
Garrett said he wouldn’t graduate before his term is up, and the Senate should hold him to that – unless it wants another absentee Senator.