Several members of the student senate were relieved of their duties Monday by the Evaluation and Constitutional Review Committee (E&CR), the judicial branch of ASPSU.
E&CR members Paul Paris, Elijah Michalowski and Amara Marino heard the cases and voted to either retain or dismiss those government officials in question.
Senators and members of the executive staff were being reviewed for one of two reasons: poor attendance of student senate meetings or not meeting the minimum requirements of credits.
Senator Yambasu Sahr was on the list for poor attendance. In fact, his attendance was deemed by Student Body Vice President Emily Garrick to be the worst of all. Upon further review it was determined he had been removed from the senate last year, only to be reinstated after promises to improve his attendance record. Members of the committee expressed frustration in trying to get ahold of him, Paris even openly wondered whether or not Sahr was still a student. His dismissal was unanimous.
Paris confessed to not even knowing the next senator to be reviewed, Steven Hamilton. Garrick spoke of him fondly, saying, “I love him to death, he is a nice guy. He plays basketball and just has too much going on.” Hamilton was removed.
Senator Marc Hinz has been an active member of the “Without Fear” group and writes for the Rearguard. However, Hinz was not active enough in attending senate meetings, and his dismissal was unanimous.
Being a personal friend of Paris did not save the seat of Senator Raymond Brisson III; he cited personal issues for his inability to meet the six credit hour requirement, and his removal was unanimous.
Two senators, last year’s Student Body President Bar Johnston and Carolyn Becker-Snell are not even current students at PSU. The committee voted unanimously to dismiss them.
Senators Jeremy Rosenbloom and Abigail Audette have resigned from the senate. Their seats are now considered vacant.
Three more officials, Senator Abi Mohamud, Senator Santiago Mendoza and State Affairs Director Cynthia Sartin showed up to plead their cases for remaining part of student government.
Mendoza is part of the election committee. Garrick spoke on his behalf for the good work he has done, and for the effort he put in commuting to meetings from Salem during the summer session. Even though Mendoza was deficient in both attendance and credit hours, the committee voted to retain him.
Sartin was guilty of having less than six credits, allegedly due to an incomplete that she received last term. She too was allowed to remain.
Mohamud had incompletes in school as well. “Last term I had personal issues that affected my school and my personal life,” he said. “I am working with an advisor and with a counselor; I don’t want to lose my seat on the senate.” Mohamud’s appeal to stay with the senate was approved.
Two other officials, Senator David Levy and Vice-executive Chair Erin Sexton were allowed to remain based on sentiments they expressed before the meeting to committee members.
Senators can be dismissed for missing two or more senate meetings without notifying the senate president, or they can miss 35 percent of the meetings with excused absences. ASPSU officials must also register and successfully complete six credit hours at Portland State University.
By the end of the session Monday, a total of eight seats were vacant on the senate. Paris may have said it best midway through the Monday morning session; “Let’s hope this will serve as a wake-up call.”