Three A.S. Council Members Resign

One campuswide senator and two judicial board members resigned from A.S. Council on Wednesday, April 13. Marshall College senior Sarmad Bokhari and Muir College junior Arianna Peregretti left the judicial board, while Muir College junior Jennifer Tzi resigned as campuswide senator.

The two judicial board members were faced with probable impeachment that would have been brought up during the April 13 meeting. The resolution — sponsored by Associate Vice President of College Affairs Leonard Bobbitt — cited conflict of interest, personal connections and implicit bias as reasons for impeachment.

“Each of us is new to j-board and, as you can guess, we had no idea this year’s election would turn out this way,” Judicial Board Chair Polina Tsvetikova wrote in an email. “No concrete details have been decided upon as everyone is still cooling off from last weekend.”

In the resolution for impeachment, Bokhari — who heard four cases involving the Students First! slate — was cited for allegedly demonstrating bias towards that slate through a Facebook profile picture that displayed the slate’s logo.

For Peregretti, the resolution alleged that she singled out slates for harassment and division, which was considered a violation of her role as a neutral party in the appeals process.

“I was sad to discover about the resignations as after having spent a weekend together, we all became close to each other and bonded,” Tsvetikova wrote. “I do, however, understand and respect their decisions.”

The resolutions refer to the appeals for the elections grievances, which were heard on April 10. After supporters of Tritons First!, We Are Tritons and Board the Wing slates were seen cheering after an appeal decision was made against Students First!. Peregretti then pointed out the disrespect in the room. Some felt that her comments were directed at all the slates except Students First!.

Peregretti stated that she resigned because she will graduate in Winter 2012, while Tzi said her resignation was mostly due to her workload this quarter.

“This quarter has just become more difficult for me than I had originally imagined,” Tzi said in her letter of resignation to A.S. Executive Assistant Heather Belk. “Therefore, I don’t think I can finish my term.”

The letter was later forwarded to council by A.S. Council President Wafa Ben Hassine.

Tzi went on to express regret for abandoning several projects, which included an initiative with Associate Vice President of Concerts and Events Brian Wong to establish free storage lockers for commuter students at next month’s Sun God Festival.

Bokhari said his resignation was partially in response to the events associated with elections.

“I am disenfranchised by the purpose and effectiveness of the judicial board having seen the elections validated, given that clear incriminating evidence was presented at the hearings,” Bokhari said in an emailed letter of resignation.

Bokhari added that incidents of intimidation were also a part of his decision. He claimed that the election committee deliberately withheld evidence to aid a particular slate, though he did not elaborate on this claim.

Ben Hassine will appoint two new judicial board members within the next two weeks; applications open on April 18. Applicants will be interviewed by the executive board during Week Six.

“I do hope, however, that people do not become discouraged from becoming a part of j-board once that opportunity becomes available,” Tsvetikova said.

Bokhari and Tzi could not be reached for comment.

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