Two ASUC senators removed for exceeding meeting absence limit

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Shelly So Hee KIm/File

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Two ASUC senators were removed from office Wednesday night during the last ASUC Senate meeting of the semester.

Student Action senators Eric Wu and Quinn Shen were removed from office after the vice chair of the senate brought their five senate-meeting absences, which exceed the four absences allowed by the ASUC Constitution, to the attention of the senate chair.

According to the ASUC Constitution, a senator will be automatically removed from office if he or she has not attended 70 percent of the regular senate meetings of a semester. Senators can, however, be excused for religious or valid written medical reasons, which have to be presented to the executive vice president two days prior to the meeting.

The absences of senators are usually kept up in an ongoing tally throughout the semester, but the vice chair chose to cross-check attendance with the minutes this week, said Executive Vice President Nolan Pack.

The removal was due to misunderstandings and miscommunication, Wu said, as he was under the impression that he was within the number of absences allowed by the bylaws. Wu and Shen were not given warnings prior to the dismissal, according to ASUC Attorney General Kevin Sabo.

“I was quite surprised because throughout the semester I’ve been referring to Acting Senate Vice Chair’s absence record spreadsheet and I’m not sure why there are discrepancies between his record and the ‘official’ record especially when there are some consequences associated with it,” Wu said in an email.

Wu missed the roll call at the beginning of the meeting, which officially put him at five absences, Sabo said. Shen was not present at Wednesday’s meeting.

The senate also tentatively removed Student Action senators Courtney Chow and Lauren Week from office but decided against their removal after those senators provided evidence of their attendance by examining minutes on the ASUC website and recordings on the official ASUC YouTube channel.

Despite the removal of the senators, the senate was able to approve –– with the necessary two-thirds majority –– the Spring Budgeting Bill, which allocates funds for student groups on campus in the fall semester and through the summer sessions.

Meanwhile, the senate did not confirm Jeremy Gordon, The Daily Californian’s former opinion editor, as next year’s ASUC attorney general, despite suspending parliamentary procedure in order to do so. Typically, a motion that fails to pass in the senate cannot be brought up again during the same session. Senators chose, however, to consider Gordon again after he was recommended once again by the selection committee for the position. Sabo will continue to hold the position until the ASUC Senate finds a new attorney general next fall.

Contact Jane Nho and Savannah Luschei at [email protected]