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The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

Impeachment Efforts Against AS President Continue Ahead of Vote

Impeachment+Efforts+Against+AS+President+Continue+Ahead+of+Vote
Photo by Sarah He/ UCSD Guardian

The efforts to impeach and recall A.S. President George Chi Ioi Lo have continued into Week 9 following the Judicial Board’s denial of the original recall petition. As student groups, led by the Students for Justice in Palestine, gear up to attend the impeachment vote planned for this week’s senate meeting, they also plan to re-file the recall petition after the requisite 14 days past the initial ruling have passed.

At this Wednesday’s vote, two-thirds of the Senate must vote in favor of impeachment for it to immediately pass. The matter must then be approved by the Judicial Board for the impeachment to be processed. 

The long-term recall petition process is a written appeal directed to the Judicial Board to approve a recall effort of Lo. If the recall re-file is approved through the J-Board, the groups must collect a certain amount of signatures supporting Lo’s recall in two weeks in order for the process to continue. 

The original letter summarized five instances of misconduct that exemplified Lo’s “improper” and “unethical use of [the presidency],” the two cited grounds for his impeachment. After deliberation, the Judicial Board ultimately ruled the first two instances valid reasons for recall but not the third, fourth, or fifth.

The first instance described Lo’s behavior earlier this year when he was reported mistreating Housing Dining Hospitality student workers while waiting for his food at the Sixth Dining Hall. The Judicial Board declared this reason evidence of violation per Standing Rule 2.2.A.b.: “The president shall develop and maintain relationships with campus partners and additional key partners, as needed.” The second occurrence refers to Lo’s behavior and refusal to apologize for his behavior during a senate meeting presentation. The Judicial Board found that this reason was evidence of Lo in violation of the Standing Rule 2.2.A.a.: “The president shall advocate and amplify student voices and student issues to campus administration.”

The third and fifth items both spoke to alleged occurrences of retaliation against the sitting Associate Vice President of EDI, Leticia Guzman, for signing the call for apology letter from the second complaint and for not reposting a Tritons for Israel Walkout advertisement. Lo told The UCSD Guardian that he believes this claim of retaliation is misrepresented and that his issuing of formal warnings to Guzman was warranted per the A.S. bylaws and approved by his pro-staff advisors. The Judicial Board agreed and found these reasons invalid on account of Article II-B CABINET Section 2, which reads that the president has the authority to “appoint or dismiss members of the Cabinet that they supervise” at their discretionary judgment. 

The fourth grievance described “irresponsive and dismissive” behavior towards SJP when they came to speak at the Nov. 1 senate meeting. The letter authors write that they were denied speaking time, which was instead given to Tritons for Israel. Lo told The Guardian that he actually advocated for the SJP speakers, and believes that, without his efforts, they would not have been permitted to speak at all. The Judicial Board ruled in Lo’s favor, writing that “this reason for recall is invalid as additional information has been presented to J-board.” They found that because protocol rules were changed on that night last-minute due to occupancy concerns and non-physically present speakers were allowed to provide commentary virtually, Lo’s conduct was not in violation.

In a confidential letter sent to the A.S. Listserv leaked in a Reddit post and since verified by The Guardian, Lo responded to the grievances made against him in both the letter and Week 8 public comments. He wholly denies all the existing allegations against him by offering further information on each instance. 

In their decision, the Judicial Board further outlined five clearer regulations for submitting a petition to recall an executive officer. The first, second, and third policies speak to the filing process, while the fourth and fifth speak to the logistics of recall.

The first provision states that “three points of misconduct that the Executive Officer has committed” must be presented, and that “the petition will only proceed if all three points of misconduct are approved” by a J-Board majority. The second and third points stipulate that the petitioners must also list the “section, subsection, or specific responsibility” in violation as well as a “detailed explanation” of how the accused violated the aforementioned “A.S. Standing Rules, A.S. Constitution, or other legal documents.”

The fourth clause states that if the first petition is dismissed, only one re-file, submitted at least 14 days following the initial ruling, is permitted. The fifth clause affirms that “a full J-Board is not necessary to preside over a recall.” Though the board is required to seat seven members, it currently seats two people with the initials E.W. and H.S. 

As of this article’s publishing, the existing coalition that drafted the first letter still intends to pursue impeachment through both the Senate vote and a petition re-file. The original letter was endorsed by Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanola de Aztlan, Students for Justice in Palestine at UCSD, Groundwork Books, the Muslim Student Union, and the Ethnic Studies Undergraduate Community. It is predicted that most, if not all, of the listed groups intend to support the effort, with the addition of other groups whose involvement were initially pending budget and board meetings.

In addition to the first two approved complaints, the groups intend to elaborate on alleged discriminatory misconduct committed against the Students for Justice in Palestine, as well as allegations purported at the Week 8 senate meeting by Haunted Maze actors who testified in public comment that Lo had broken the no-touch policy by “grabbing [their] chest and holding their hands for a period of time.” The groups also intend to amend the rejected third and fifth items of the original letter to center on a further instance of retaliation against Guzman, the AVP of EDI.

Later this week, The Guardian Features team Staff Writer Louis Avalos will publish an in-depth profile of the individuals and groups pursuing impeachment. These interviews will relay the experiences of those most impacted.

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Adalia Luo, Design Co-Editor
Minivan driver and professional nuisance. Scorpio woman. Xtra-flavor blasted goldfish aficionado.
Sarah He, Co-Webmaster & Photographer
1st year | Data Science
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