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The ASUO pulls another ASUO

I can’t say I’m surprised by the ruling of the ASUO Con Court to not void the minutes of the June 13 Senate meeting. If you’re just joining us here on As The ASUO Turns, no minutes were taken of the meeting, but were scrapped together in an unorthodox and seemingly illegal fashion. The Con Court beings its opinion by explaining “this Court finds that meeting in question was held in violation of OPML,” then tells why it will allow for it.  

“…no party has argued that the decisions made during the June 13th, 2007 meeting of the ASUO Student Senate would have been any different had minutes of said meeting been taken. Rather the violations of OPML in this case hampered the right of the public to be informed, which, while severe, is not the same… it is the Court’s conclusion that the damage done by voiding the June 13th, 2007 ASUO Student Senate meeting outweighs the benefit to be gained from said action. Therefore, the results of the meeting stand.”

The court finished with this “warning.” 

“this is not to say that the actions of the Respondent in this matter have been at all acceptable. The Court enjoins the Respondent in the future to follow…in compliance with OPML, the ASUO Constitution, the Rules of the Student Senate and the guidelines laid out in 1 C.C. (2007/08). Failure to do so will find the Respondent in contempt of this Court and subject to strict penalties.” 

In today’s Emerald story about the fiasco, Senator Kate Jones, who sent this response to Con Court urging the court to make the decision that it did, said that the warning was “more extreme than most courts would go, but I respect it. It’s a valid interpretation of the law.’” 

No, this is an extreme warning. “You imbecile, inept wonders of all that is unruly, if you don’t stop passing notes and engaging in asinine representation of the students, this Court has the right mind to find you all in contempt and boot you out of office. Your lack of attention to guidelines and inability to proceed with matters in a timely and efficient manner makes a mockery of our legal and political systems. Shame on you.” Or something like that.  

At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if Sen. Diego Hernandez is allowed to keep his seat. At the said meeting, executive appointee Hernandez was not approved in the initial vote. Senator Gulley, who was in the minority of the vote, made a motion to reconsider, which passed, and then Hernandez was approved on the second vote. This is a direct violation of the Robert’s Rules of Order, which states motions to reconsider can only be made by a member of the majority vote. 

But details, details, details. Just another ASUO clusterfuck that ends with the thought, “Yea, we broke the rules, but we don’t want to attempt to redeem order in this process, so let’s just forget about it for now and hope this doesn’t happen again.” On a final note, this decision comes four months after the meeting. Had this issue been forced to a decision swiftly and firmly, then the Senate could have saved face and had a sturdier governing body for the school year.

  1. Toby says:

    Where is Mike Filippelli when we need him to say something insightful here.

  2. Niedermeyer says:

    I’m not what the literature refers to as a primary source on this story. Given my own history with the Con Court, wouldn’t I have already dropped the scoop if I could? Anyone who’s claim to “asuo insider” status has any validity would be a way better place to start than me…

  3. Jake says:

    asuo insider: would you like to tell us where to start looking. I’m sure you know where our office is. we look forward to talking to you.

  4. Ossie says:

    Yes, please Ted, enlighten us.

  5. asuo insider says:

    I know there are people out there with stories about Con Court that would make your hair curl. Maybe it

  6. Niedermeyer says:

    Search our archives for “Con Court” and you’ll find a trail of these kinds of decisions. Y’know, I tend to focus too much on Senate and the Exec, when Con Court is really the branch that keeps the ASUO from getting anywhere. Time after time they make decisions which validate law and rule breaking in the name of convenience, and we wonder why Senators and such keep breaking the rules.

    I know there are people out there with stories about Con Court that would make your hair curl. Maybe it’s getting to be time for some of those people to start going on the record… Con Court has no checks on its accountability other than the media, there is no higher body to appeal their worthless rulings to. It’s about time that people really knew how that highly politicized, highly “malleable” body really makes its august decisions…

  7. Jan says:

    Yeah, that was meant to be sarcastic (damn Internet!) I think even if he didn’t think it was all bullshit, which he probably does like Ted says, it’s probably bad politics for him to get involved unless there is some serious shit going on. Low-grade corruption and incompetence.. eh, it’s par for the course at this point.

  8. Timothy says:

    I think that’s probably right, Ted.

  9. Niedermeyer says:

    …he has witnessed more ASUO bullshit than any of us can even imagine, and stopped caring sometime in the mid-90s?

  10. Jan says:

    Since Frohny basically wrote the applicable public meetings law that ASUO violated, it’s a little unbelievable that he hasn’t weighed in on this. Given, that was 1984, and he was attorney general then. But still…

  11. Timothy says:

    That would be SPECTACULAR. I say you go for it. ASUO delenda est!

  12. Fortitude says:

    Since violations of State Meetings laws do fall under state purveyorship, if Neil Brown had a chance, he could file something with the Attorney General’s office.

    Or we could get Das Frohn to dissolve the Con Court. That’d be fun.

  13. Blaser says:

  14. Niedermeyer says:

    …oh, and this would also make for some fantastic precedent… if Con Court y’know, considered things like precedent. Imagine this logic being used in an embezzlement case (well, 20 eyewitnesses saw you remove $10,000 in cash from the ASUO controllers office, but as long as you don’t do it again, that’s cool).

    Also, it is pretty far from reassuring to know that Ms Jones is the Senator in charge of ethics reform. Clearly the only reason she is so keen on seeing the law go unenforced is because she desperately wants to keep “ASUO Summer Senate President” on her resume. Just the kind of pathetically self-serving little twit we want taking credit for drafting rules of ethics for the ASUO.


  15. Niedermeyer says:

    Not surprised at all. “Yes you broke the law, but it will only matter if you do it again.” Classic Con Court logic.


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