Student senator proposes formal investigation of student government president

Student senator William McDonald proposed a formal investigation of Student Government President Desmond Miller at an internal affairs meeting Tuesday.

McDonald raised three areas of concern as to why he wants this formal investigation to take place.

The first area of concern was Miller’s relationship status with Eden Zimak, the chair of the Public Affairs committee and director of social justice for Student Government. McDonald accused Miller of hiring Zimak on that basis.

“I think that it is absolutely pathetic that in 2015 a woman’s accomplishments are still being shadowed by sexuality and her relationship to others,” Zimak said in response to the proposed formal investigation. “I think this is one of the most tangible forms of sexism I have experienced in my own life, if I wasn’t a woman this would not be a story.”

Both Miller and vice president Steven Cole stood behind Zimak as an employee. They expressed that she was hired because of her long list of accomplishments including her leadership positions in Greek Life, Sigma Kappa sorority, the LGBT Resource Center and her status as an academically outstanding student.

The second point of investigation was Miller's alleged “poor decorum.”

The examples given were of Miller “speaking down” to senators and also dictating to the senators what they should be doing in terms of committee responsibilities.

“I do not apologize for my message to the senators -- the Senate as a whole needs to get to work,” Miller said in response to the accusation of speaking down to senators at Senate meetings.

The final point of investigation referred to the personal abuse of judicial sergeant David Konarske. His only point of example was referring to how Miller speaks to Konarske at committee or Senate meetings.

Neither Miller nor Cole would comment on the accusations of “personal abuse” toward judicial sergeant Konarske.

During the Business and Finance committee meeting, McDonald made it apparent his dislike for Miller’s presence at the meeting and on the agenda. McDonald attempted twice to amend the agenda not to allow Miller to speak at the meeting.

“Personally, when Desmond speaks he speaks down to David, I want to strike it from the agenda and continue with the meeting,” McDonald said.

The motion to amend the agenda did not pass and Miller was allowed to speak at the meeting briefly pertaining to the vetoes he submitted last week. Miller gave this executive report at all four committee meetings.

“Students have a right to know who is being hired, including his relationship with the employees,” senator McDonald said.

McDonald also said Miller told an international student not to apply as chair of the Business and Finance committee because the student did not live on campus at the time.

“Desmond and I do the hiring,” Cole said in response to the accusation of turning down possible applicants for a position. “We did not and would not tell someone not to apply because of nationality or availability on campus.”

Although McDonald proposed a formal investigation of Miller, the Internal Affairs committee does not have jurisdiction per the Student Government Constitution and Bylaws to investigate the Student Government president.

Nothing has been submitted to the Internal Affairs committee in writing as of Tuesday, the proposal has only been expressed verbally.

The Internal Affairs committee will not meet again until March 3. After break where the investigation and complaints against the Student Government president will be discussed again and a decision regarding action will be made.

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