Senate infighting prompted by snack acquisition
Snacks, posters, and unorganized meetings sparked debate over Public Relations Chair at this week’s student government meeting. Senator Hannah Smith and Senator Diana Ramstad brought allegations of nonfeasance, misfeasance, and malfeasance against Public Relations chair and senator David Ambrose. Smith motioned to remove him from his post as PR chair.
“The concerns that I have is that I don’t feel the senator, at times, in the public relations committee, acts for the good of the senate and for the student body,” Ramstad said.
Smith decided to clarify her reasons for bringing this motion to the table.
“My reasoning for this is that you haven’t been meeting your duties,” Smith said. “Something as simple as making the meeting times publicly announced, we are a decent way into the semester, so I feel like now is the time we need to be knowing these things not learning them. We have evidence of you committing malfeasance, misfeasance, nonfeasance, that’s like all three things that you don’t do.”
Ambrose was accused of mishandling committee meetings, developing posters that appeared to represent ASUAF without approval of the senate, and appropriating committee funds to purchase snacks for a tabling event without approval of the PR committee. Ambrose disputed the motion for his removal his removal.
“I’m going to just inform everyone of the issues that were going on, first off, this ego thing, this petty ego thing, started as a conversation as to how we were going to get snacks for tabling,” Ambrose said. ” I had emailed everyone asking for their input, and only one person responded, and out of the initiative I felt was necessary, in order to get the tabling done, I made a decision to get the snacks that I only received one persons input on.”
Ambrose was speaking of an email that he had sent out to PR committee members asking which snacks should be acquired for their tabling event. Ambrose, who had marked the email as urgent was displeased with the committees lack of response, focusing on Senator Gabriel Madore specifically.
“In Gabe’s situation, why didn’t he respond to me when I said it was an urgent need? He said I was too busy, and I was at work. So I asked him for his input and he didn’t respond and he said he was busy and working, and that’s where the argument stated between me and Gabe,” Ambrose said.
The snacks in question had not been agreed upon or voted on by the committee. Ambrose was accused of using committee funds without approval by other committee members. President Molly O’Scannell gave the senate and Ambrose some clarification on the issue at hand.
“The issue is when you have a committee contingencies, the whole committee has to vote when using it and it has to be in your records,” O’Scannell said. “You have to have a record for that, that you voted on it in committee.”
Ambrose said he wasn’t clear on that and that the snacks that had been acquired with the committee’s funds had been returned by him and the money put back into the contingency fund.
Senator Daniel Dougherty gave some input on the situation and stated he believe Ambrose made innocent mistakes and that the continued infighting was unhelpful.
“David’s been very active in trying to give students a voice, and has been active in doing things for the students,” Dougherty said. “This is just a lot of bickering, and I think it would be wise to just let this all stop, its not good for us or anyone.”
After deliberation on the facts and opinions had been ceased, Senate Chair Samuel Mitchell put Ambrose’s removal from PR Chair to a roll call vote. Ambrose objected to the vote since not all the senate was present, however he was informed by Mitchell that a chair removal vote only requires a two-thirds vote of the members present, not the entire senate.
The vote resulted in Ambrose being removed as sitting Public Relations chair and he left before the final roll call of the meeting.