Silent protest and impeachment charges at student senate meeting
Silent protesters sat in on the Student Senate’s regular meeting and the impeachment resolution against student body president Desmond Miller made its way to the vice president Tuesday evening.
A group of 15 women attended the Student Senate meeting to protest comments made by Senator William McDonald.
Alyce Dodenhoff, a junior biology major, said that McDonald has made comments that were derogatory toward women that she has witnessed herself and has also heard stories from other students.
She signed a statement that McDonald called her a dyke. For the protest, she made a sign that said, “Does endometrial cancer look like a dyke to you?”
Dodenhoff said she is assuming the comment was made to her due to her short hair.
“His comment really hit a sore spot seeing as the reason for my haircut is because I have cancer,” Dodenhoff said.
Student body president Desmond Miller commented in support of the silent protest that took place during the meeting.
“I think a member of Student Senate calling someone a dyke is completely inappropriate. I would like to see the Senate take action,” Miller said.
Also during the meeting, Senator Carl Matherly spoke about the impeachment resolution against Miller that he authored. The resolution as received has 12 senator signatures, which is the minimum number of signatures required, and 14 student signatures.
“My understanding after speaking to several senators is that many of them share my concerns that I have addressed in the articles of impeachment,” Matherly said. “Others seem unsure and they are going to see what they think after the hearing.”
Matherly said that he has spoken with students who are bothered by President Miller’s conduct this year and during the elections last April.
“There are students who are still bothered,” Matherly said. “Especially those who voted and had their votes cast out. They’re very concerned.”
With the 12 signatures vice president Steven Cole has 7 to 30 days to schedule an impeachment hearing. At the hearing both Matherly and Miller will speak. There needs to be an absolute two-thirds vote in order for Miller to be impeached.
“My feeling is to still work on behalf of the student body,” Miller said. “I am trying not to think about this as in my current role as president, I work for the student body.”
The Senate passed a resolution to extend a contract that supports the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Student Funders Group from 2016 to 2020 with a vote of 15-0.
It was authored by Jared Jefferies, a student and previous senator in the student government and supported by McAllister.
Student Government has provided NLA Student Funders with $2,000 for the past two years. They want to increase that amount to $2,500 in the coming four years.
NLA will have a Student Government representative, chosen by Student Government, to participate in the group each year.
McDonald expressed concern about the vagueness of the process of choosing a representative. However, this did not affect the Senate’s decision to pass the resolution.
After Standing Committee reports, McDonald asked senators for the number of hours they billed last week.
“The reason I asked for hours in particular was because one of the reasons students asked us to impeach President Miller is because of the directors and the staff here filling excessive hours for not the amount of work that would necessitate those hours,” McDonald said. “So it’s about accountability and keeping track of all the employees and making sure we’re not wasting our tuition.”
The students running for the office of student body president will participate in a debate to answer questions at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 17. The committee meeting will be Tuesday, March 17.
The Student Senate also opened the floor to begin accepting speaker and judicial sergeant Nominations.
Keira Fiegan and Nate Pyle were nominated for the position of speaker. David Konarske and John McAllister were nominated for the position of judicial sergeant.