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Senator accused during Student Government meeting of vandalism

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The fountain near Flowers Hall was vandalize with writing and food coloring, April 9.
The fountain near Flowers Hall was vandalize with writing and food coloring, April 9.

Photo by Tyler Jackson | Multimedia Editor

During the April 9 meeting, Student Government President Connor Clegg accused Sen. Claudia Gasponi of vandalizing campus property in an attempt to lower enrollment rates.

Student Government passed three pieces of legislation during the meeting and heard a presentation after the claims were made.

Before Clegg’s accusation, concerned individual Spencer Lewis accused Sen. Claudia Gasponi of vandalizing university property by dying the fountain in front of Commons Dining Hall red and writing “This is the blood of the survivors you ignore #BoycottTxst” in chalk along its borders during Bobcat Day April 7, an open-house event geared toward prospective students. Lewis would not confirm his affiliation with Texas State.

During the public comment section of the meeting, two concerned constituents took to the podium to encourage senators and students to be present at the joint session April 11 to vote on Clegg’s impeachment. This follows Dean of Students Margarita Arellano’s decision to allow the appeal of the Student Government Supreme Court ruling to impeach Clegg.

“I think that it’s shameful that we have a senator in this room, senator Gasponi, who wants to impeach me for not representing the will and the needs of the student body fairly and accurately while she will go out on campus and dye our fountains red and talk about the blood of the survivors,” Clegg said. “I am calling on you to resign.”

Currently, there is an open police investigation into the vandalization. Gasponi denies the allegations.

“I didn’t know about any destruction of property at all,” Gasponi said. “Honestly, I think he’s posturing. He knows that he is probably going to be impeached on Wednesday and is trying to drag me, the prosecuting senator, in any way that he can.”

The University Police Department confirmed the investigation into the vandalism of the fountain on campus near Commons Dining Hall.

Afterward, Student Government passed three legislative pieces: We Don’t Keep Secrets Act, the High School Students Vote Too Outreach Act and the Bobcats Stop the Bleed Course Simple Resolution.

Sen. Preston Nieves, author of the We Don’t Keep Secrets Act, said the bill is to create transparency in voting records and to prevent secret ballots that allow for the voting records of senators to be hidden from public view. The bill passed after a lengthy debate.

“We need to make sure that we are not ashamed of how we are voting,” Nieves said. “The status quo makes it too easy to hide behind things. It defeats the purpose of representative government.”

Sen. Adrian Cooper said the bill could hurt the future of senators not interested in becoming a politician.

“Your average senator isn’t here to take a hardline stance on partisan pieces,” Cooper said. “Secret ballots offer students that aren’t going into politics to not have their name attached to something that potential employers could see.”

The High School Students Vote Too Outreach Act, authored by Nieves, was passed unanimously. The bill aims to create a program where Student Government goes to high schools in the San Marcos area to register eligible students to vote.

Authored by Christian Cienfuegos, the simple resolution Bobcats Stop the Bleed Course was read and passed unanimously. The bill aims to implement free courses that will educate students and faculty on how to respond to injuries as first responders.

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