The Undergraduate Student Government Downtown senate voted not to impeach Vice President of Services Ernesto Hernandez at a special session Friday after he accumulated more than the six absence points needed for impeachment based on USGD bylaws.
Hernandez accumulated seven absence points for missing several meetings and also collected two out of the five strikes allowed for missing deadlines. He also did not hold the required number of Sun Devil Coalition meetings and submitted several funding requests for events after the events had occurred.
Hernandez was deemed nonfeasent at the senate meeting on April 14 for his absences. He was also found nonfeasent last year as a senator from the College of Public Service and Community Solutions after he failed to turn in half of his weekly action reports and meet the student feedback quota on the $5 student fee increase.
This is the second time some members of USGD have called for the impeachment of Hernandez in two weeks. Before the senate meeting on April 14, a resolution was submitted for an impeachment hearing for Hernandez, but it was later removed from the agenda after several senators voiced apprehension about the impeachment and said there was a lack of transparency.
President Jackson Dangremond said more senators began to support the impeachment after hearing the evidence against Hernandez and took the time to look at it from an objective perspective.
“I do applaud those senators for really taking a step back and looking at the bylaws and looking at the evidence presented and then ultimately making the decision that the charges were in fact impeachable,” Dangremond said. “I’m just really applauding them again for taking a look at this from an objective point (of view.)”
Three senators, Senate President Case Smith, Chief of Staff Jade Yeban and Dangremond submitted Senate Resolution 22 for the impeachment of Hernandez last week, arguing that despite his limited time remaining in office it was important to enforce the bylaws.
“I am still required by the virtue of my position to uphold our bylaws whether time is a factor or not,” Dangremond said.
Vice President of Policy Jimmy Arwood did not support the impeachment and said in an open letter that student government has bigger issues to focus on and that more time should be spent working toward solutions for students.
“We have students with real problems and real issues who want real solutions,” Arwood said in his statement. “A real solution to me is not spending an entire week working on the impeachment of another member who only has a few days left in office anyway.”
Hernandez defended himself before the vote and said no students suffered because of his absences.
“I don’t believe students suffer because I am continuously meeting with our students and continuously communicating with them,” Hernandez said.
The resolution for impeachment was voted down 7-4 with one senator abstaining due to absence.
Hernandez thanked the senate and students for their support and said next year he will be holding student government accountable and working with members as a student leader.
“I do have faith the next administration will serve our students without a doubt and I do hope that they carry on this empathy and the desire to foster community next year,” Hernandez said. “As a student leader, I will be working with Undergraduate Student Government as well on priorities that are important to our students and myself.”
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