Council Racks Up Fall Quarter Absences

Several members of A.S. Council may face impeachment, if their attendance records at Wednesday-night council meetings do not improve. According to the organization’s attendance policy, each member is allowed up to three absences per year.

If a member accrues more than three absences, he or she is eligible to be nominated for impeachment. This policy is usually enforced by the A.S. advocate general, a position which was vacant during Fall Quarter 2009.

However, new A.S. Advocate General Parminder Sandhu — appointed by the A.S. Council the first meeting of Winter Quarter — said he will begin the impeachment process for any members currently over the allowable limit if they receive additional absences.

The impeachment process begins when the advocate general submits an article of impeachment to congress. If two-thirds of the council votes to pass the article, it will be filed with the A.S. Judicial Board, which will then make the ruling.

“I feel the number of absences has been an impediment,” said Sandhu. “If you’re not at meetings, it’s hard to do business.”

Seven voting members on the council have three or more absences, and will face impeachment if they receive any more. These members include Biological Sciences Senator John Ehrhart (7.5 absences), Sixth College Senator John Condello (5.5 absences) and Thurgood Marshall College Senator Brian McEuen (4.5 absences).

Campuswide Senator Tobias Haglund and Muir College Senator Ryan O’Rear have all accrued 3.5 absences, and Campuswide Senator Carli Thomas has three.

One-half of an absence indicates that the councilmember stayed for only part of the meeting.

Eight nonvoting members — including AVP Concerts and Events Alex Bramwell, AVP Student Advocacy Chris Cruz, AVP Enterprise Operations Rishi Ghosh, AVP College Affairs James Lintern, AVP Diversity Affairs Jasmine Phillips, AVP Academic Affairs Jordan Taylor, AVP Local Affairs Aries Yumul and AVP Athletic Relations Donald Zelaya, have three or more absences as well.

Four voting members, including Social Sciences Senator Irfan Ahmed, Warren College Senator Josh Grossman, Arts and Humanities Senator Omar Khan and Campuswide Senator Bryant Pena, as well as one nonvoting member, AVP of Student Organizations Andrew Ang, are all one absence away from eligibility for impeachment.

The nonvoting members are currently moving to write an amendment into the A.S. Constitution that will not require them to attend meetings. This proposal will be discussed at this Wednesday’s meeting.

According to A.S. President Utsav Gupta, the A.S. Constitution does not allow for associate vice presidents to be impeached. He said they can only be removed by a resolution calling for an AVP’s removal.

Sandhu said he begin the impeachment process until after Week Three, meeting in order to allow time for councilmembers to clear previously unexcused absences.

Readers can contact Megha Ram at [email protected].