For the third meeting of the semester, public calls for Student Government to end internal conflicts and focus on updating its website and creating legislation were made, this week by Sam Houston State University Student Government President David Eller.
Student Government introduced legislation to create a competitive rate for faculty of color – something many students do not believe exists today. This would call on Texas State administrators to hire more people of color, to better mirror the student body.
The previously introduced and postponed articles to remove chief of staff Matthew Gonzales were nearly postponed again due to a lack of evidence, but the Senate ultimately voted on the legislation and it failed.
The vote was taken on handwritten notes due to an inability for senators to vote with abstentions on the usual online voting form. Additionally, Gonzales and Freund were the ones to count the vote despite Gonzales’ involvement with the vote at-hand because Student Government has yet to fill the clerk’s position. Following attempts to postpone the vote again and a lengthy debate and discussion period, the articles received only votes against or in abstention.
Sen. Preston Nieves flipped his vote, despite co-sponsoring the legislation, because he did not believe all the evidence had been presented to the Senate and the memory of former President Connor Clegg being the first president to be impeached at Texas State was in the back of his mind.
“I sponsored this piece, but I feel a little uncomfortable right now because so much is unclear,” Nieves said. “Last year we set a precedent that it’s okay to impeach people for political reasons. I think it’s also important to be objective and pragmatic.”
Acting President Alison Castillo said she and acting Vice President Keely Freund have not been sworn-in because of talk about impeachment articles circulating around the Graduate House of Representatives for her or Freund’s position. Castillo said Margarita Arellan, associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students, wants to wait on any swearing-in ceremony until any possibility of more impeachment articles is off the table.
Student Government meets at 7 p.m. every Monday in the LBJ Teaching Theater.