SFC takes step to remove Cho

The Student Fee Committee voted “no confidence” yesterday against member Hyung Cho–a vote that could remove him from his position in the group–after some members alleged he has avoided his job duties. The vote was 4-3-1, with Cho abstaining.

The Student Fee Committee voted “no confidence” yesterday against member Hyung Cho–a vote that could remove him from his position in the group–after some members alleged he has avoided his job duties. The vote was 4-3-1, with Cho abstaining.

Cho’s status as an SFC member is now up to SFC Chair Amanda Newberg, who can either decide to let Cho stay on the committee or take the no confidence vote before the ASPSU Judicial Board, the highest decision-making body in student government. The J-Board will have final say on Cho’s status in the committee.

The next J-Board meeting is Thursday, but Newberg said she is unsure of when she will submit the case to the board, if at all.

“This whole thing has been really stressful, and I’ve got to think carefully about how to proceed while we’re still in deliberations,” Newberg said. “I’m not sure what I’ll do yet.”

The vote of no confidence against Cho initially failed with four votes in support and four votes against it, after SFC member Julian Jenkins made a motion for the vote. After the vote took place, Natalee Webb, interim assistant director for Student Activities and Leadership Programs and student government’s adviser, said Cho should not have voted that because the vote directly affects him, citing Robert’s Rules of Order, the operation standards for all public meetings.

Cho initially voted against the call for no confidence-which literally means the SFC has no confidence in his abilities to work on the SFC-but his vote was changed to an abstention after Webb spoke up. In order for a vote to pass, it requires a 50 percent, plus one vote, majority. Because of the change to an abstention, which changed the vote to four in favor and three against, the vote passed.

A memo sent to SFC members Feb. 5, written by Jenkins and Vice Chair Karin Zimmer, outlined the reasons they think Cho is not fit to hold his position. Allegations include: Cho text messaging during meetings, leaving some meetings early and voting with the majority despite holding different personal opinions than the rest of the committee.

Cho, who was appointed to his position at the start of January, denies that he did anything inappropriate, saying that other group members frequently commit the same alleged offenses. Cho said that he wishes to remain a member of the SFC, and that he feels the whole ordeal is a personal issue between the SFC, specifically Zimmer and Jenkins, and himself.

“I think it’s irresponsible to remove me during the deliberations, especially since my job performance speaks for itself,” Cho said. “My groups all tell me they’re very happy with my work, and I think the real issue here is just communication within the committee.”

The SFC will allocate close to $12 million in student fees this year to student groups, including the Vanguard.

Jenkins said he thinks Cho does not actively participate in deliberations and that he does not “reflect an appropriate level of interest in his groups during meetings.” Jenkins said the reason he asked for a no confidence vote was to make sure SFC members are doing their jobs.

“If nothing else, it’s to make sure that the SFC will do everything that it can to hold itself accountable,” Jenkins said.

Rudy Soto, ASPSU president and an SFC member last year, spoke against voting no confidence in Cho during Monday’s meeting. He said it would be a huge mistake to remove Cho from office because the situation is based on interpersonal conflicts and disagreements, not on broken bylaws.

“I think a lot of this contention is vested in personal issues, and isn’t a matter of Cho breaking bylaws but rather ground rules this year’s SFC made before Cho became a part of the group,” Soto said.

Jenkins and Zimmer questioned the validity of allowing Soto to speak at the meeting. Jenkins said that Soto wasn’t qualified to discuss the matter, “because he hasn’t been in the room during all of these discussions.”

Member Kit Seulean, who voted against no confidence, said at the meeting that Cho should be allowed to stay an SFC member if he agrees to attend additional training sessions and participate more on the committee.

Cho told the committee he would try harder and said he will do his best to participate and show more engagement in the SFC process.

Last month, Cho told the Vanguard he had concerns about neutrality and the inner workings of the SFC. He stated last week, when the possible no confidence vote was brought up, that he thinks the issue is retaliation for going to the press about his SFC concerns. Jenkins and other SFC members say they had concerns about Cho’s job duties before he talked to the Vanguard.

After the no confidence vote passed, Cho said he was unsure of how to feel.

“I don’t have any idea about what to say to the SFC,” Cho said. “If I remain a member, I’ll work hard to serve my student groups as best I can, but if they release me, I think it’s subverting the democratic process. I want my voice to be heard, but each time I speak out, it’s like I’m getting punished.”