Dismissals unconstitutional

The ASPSU Evaluation and Constitutional Review Committee (E & CR) ruled Tuesday a special Senate meeting in October was held in violation of the ASPSU constitution.

The meeting, held Oct. 4 last year during which Shariyar Smith, Josh Morris, Justice McPherson, Michael-Sean Kelly and Nathan Pawlicki were dismissed.

The E & CR committee held that said meeting was unconstitutional on the grounds that notice for the meeting wasn’t posted 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

While Oregon State Meeting law only requires 24 hours notice for public meetings of all kind, the ASPSU constitution requires 48 hours notice for “all meetings.”

The nullification of that October meeting, can possibly invalidate all decisions made by the senate since that date.

As a number of the appointed members of the E & CR had been approved at that Oct. 4 meeting, Annie Stewart, E & CR member, expressed concern that such action would mean that the E & CR didn’t exist, and thus couldn’t rule on the matter at hand.

The ruling caused an uproar among senators attending the meeting, all of which clamored to comment before the E & CR voted to invalidate the meeting.

“I hope you all remember this when you want to speak at a senate meeting,” ASPSU senator Cassidy Blackburn said when he was silenced by committee members.

When order was lost, the committee entered executive session, clearing the room of any non-media attendants.

In accordance with the ASPSU constitution, the decision made in the E & CR meeting was placed on the agenda for Wednesday’s senate meeting, however, the E & CR committee request didn’t make it to the floor before adjournment.

Senator Dimitris Desyllas felt that the E & CR entered executive session in violation of Oregon state meeting law. He says that the law outlines several criteria to allow executive session, and that the E & CR meeting did not meet those criteria in his view.

Senator Desyllas has filed an attention request form with the E & CR committee regarding alleged violations of Oregon law and violations of the ASPSU constitution.

At the senate meeting, Sen. Desyllas moved to have a discussion of these complaints before the E & CR’s presentation.

Senator Laura Campos pointed out that the senate currently didn’t have enough senators to make up the 3/4 majority of 25 total positions to override an E & CR decision.

“We need 19 to override. We have 18,” Campos said.

The original agenda had an item for senate appointments listed below the E & CR request. Senators Desyllas and Blackburn worked to reposition that appointment hearing to the first item of new business, above the E & CR request.

“I really take umbrage to the fact that the president hasn’t made these appointments in a timely manner,” Sen. Campos said.

In order for the senate to consider new appointments, the ASPSU president, or a designated representative must be present.

ASPSU president Kristen Wallace was not present for the first half of the meeting, but did arrive in time to put forth senate appointments.

Senators Caesar Avila, Yonatan Shpak, and Justin Meyers were all approved by the senate after senators voted to suspend the senate rules, allowing immediate approval, giving the senate in excess of the 19 senators required to overturn E & CR committee decisions.