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Thursday, July 18, 2024

ASUCD Senate unanimously passes two resolutions for the impeachment of ASUCD President and Internal Vice President

Hearings for both impeachments will start at the beginning of the winter quarter 2024

 

BY LILY FREEMAN — campus@theaggie.org

 

On Dec. 6, the ASUCD Senate held a closed session where the table unanimously voted to pass two resolutions for the impeachment of both ASUCD President Francisco Ojeda and Internal Vice President (IVP) Aarushi Raguhunathan. 

According to the ASUCD Senate Instagram, newly elected senators, Jonathan Ng, Katia Bouali, Yara Kaadan and Leah Jung had no participation in the impeachment process and were not active members of the table at the time of the closed session.

Impeachment Resolution #1, which impeached Ojeda, outlined several causes for the impeachment. 

“President Ojeda has not produced any legislation to establish executive task forces,” the resolution read. “President Ojeda has rejected requests to verbally communicate to the ASUCD Senate as a whole on the work he has taken upon and instead deferred members of the Senate to ‘speak with him privately.’”

According to the resolution, Ojeda does not communicate how he utilizes the 19.5 hours allocated per week for the job of the presidency. 

“Several members of the Senate table have expressed discomfort with meeting privately with President Ojeda and asked information on the President’s work be publicly disclosed,” the resolution continued. 

Ojeda has also failed to introduce a satisfactory Priorities Resolution, according to the impeachment document. This is supposed to be introduced during week one of the fall quarter to voice the goals, priorities and strategies of ASUCD for the upcoming academic year.

This has been an ongoing conflict within the Senate. During the Oct. 26 meeting, the table expressed their frustration about the resolution being incomplete and verbalized that they would file a complaint to the Judicial Council if no further progress was made. 

“President Ojeda introduced a second Priorities Resolution, named SR #4, in Week 5 of Fall Quarter 2023,” the resolution continued. “President Ojeda was absent from the November 9th Senate Meeting of Week 6 in which SR#4 was scheduled to be considered by the Senate and did not assign any designee.” 

The resolution said that SR #4 failed as a result of Ojeda’s absence and the overall dissatisfaction with the lack of comprehensiveness and incorporation of feedback in the document.

After two failed Priorities Resolutions, according to the resolution, the Senate requested that Ojeda give a State of the Association to clarify the progress of his goals and projects and to discuss the current state of ASUCD as a whole. 

“During the November 21st Senate meeting of Week 8, President Ojeda delivered a State of the Association that the Senate publicly regarded as unsatisfactory, on the grounds that not only did it not address the state of ASUCD outside of the Office of the President but also the information conveyed about the Office of the President was still lacking detail on overall accomplishments, goals, and current work progress,” the resolution read.

The resolution concluded by saying that the Senate filed articles of impeachment against Ojeda due to an overall failure to perform the duties of his office outlined in the ASUCD constitution and bylaws. 

“President Ojeda, who represents 37,000 undergraduate students, is the primary leader of over 2,000 ASUCD student workers, and is the Chief Executive Officer of ASUCD’s $19.5 million operations, has not demonstrated the bare minimum requisites of being president,” the resolution said. “The ASUCD Senate expressed no confidence in President Ojeda’s capacity to be ASUCD President.” 

Impeachment Resolution #2 impeached Raghunanthan. The document addressed some of the following issues regarding responsibilities that have not been fulfilled by the IVP including updating the ASUCD roster, sending out quarterly report sign-ups in time, making all Senate packets public on time, supporting ASUCD commissions and committees and effectively leading the Personnel and Awards committee, which she is the chairperson of. 

The resolution then wrote that the incompleteness of these responsibilities has resulted in an increased burden on other members of the Senate table. The document then outlined Raghunathan’s unprofessionalism, as perceived by the Senate. 

“The leadership of IVP Raghunathan has received in perceived bias and disorder at more than one senate meeting, specifically through interactions with members of the public, that have gone unresolved,” the resolution read. 

Raghunathan also did not hire the Senate Recorder or Associate Vice President in a timely manner, according to the document, and other executive office staff, such as a chief of staff, have still not been hired. 

“The Senate is dissatisfied with the work of IVP Raghunathan thus far, believing it is not in accordance with what is required in the Constitution,” the resolution concluded. “The ASUCD Senate has no confidence in the ability of IVP Raghunathan to effectively fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the Internal Vice President… Raghunanthan is incapable of her office.” 

Senator Dani Antonio, the author of the President’s impeachment resolution and a co-author of IVP’s, discussed the next steps in the impeachment process. 

“With the impeachment resolutions of both the President and Internal Vice President unanimously passed by the fall 2023 Senate table, removal will be dependent on the decisions made by the Judicial Council,” Antonio said. “Due to the fact that these resolutions were passed during week 10, hearings for this will most likely start in week one of winter quarter 2024. Here, the Judicial Council will be able to hear out both the defendants and prosecutors of the case.” 

Written by: Lily Freeman — campus@theaggie.org

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