ASWSU Judicial Board hears complaint against pro tempore

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JAKOB THORINGTON, Evergreen reporter

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Two ASWSU senators filed a complaint against senate Pro Tempore Hannah Martian. The ASWSU Judicial Board held a hearing for the complaint on Tuesday.

Senators Connor Simmons and Oluwanifemi Shola-Dare filed the complaint regarding the process of Martian’s handling of former senator Monica Chavez’s resignation and senator Jelani Christopher’s appointment as Finance Committee chair. 

Chavez, the former Finance Committee chair, texted Martian before the senate meeting on Jan. 22. Martian and Simmons both said Chavez told Martian she would miss the meeting and was considering resignation. 

“’I plan on submitting my resignation letter soon but would like to talk about it first,’” Martian said, reading the text Chavez sent her. 

Martian later that day announced to the senate Chavez had resigned. Martian said she believed Chavez was intending to resign and would submit her formal letter of resignation after meeting with her.

Simmons said the text was unofficial and Chavez learned she had resigned after Christopher joined a finance committee group chat and assumed the duties of chair.

“Former senator Chavez did in fact submit her official letter of resignation via email the following day,” he said. 

Simmons said Martian violated a bylaw by moving Christopher to the Finance Committee without the approval of Vice President Jhordin Prescott. Before the incident, Christopher was a member of the ASWSU Internal Committee.

He said she broke another bylaw stating committee chairs must be elected by the committee because Christopher was not approved as a member of the Finance Committee.

Martian said the committee did vote Christopher as chair, and she offered Finance Committee vice chair Dawson Dalfrey the position but he declined.  

“I did not appoint him chair, I made him a member of Finance,” she said.

She said over the last three senate years she served on, the vice president has not had a say over who goes to ASWSU committees or has approval of that process. 

Simmons said the bylaws are explicit that the vice president must approve the Pro Tempore committee assignments. 

The judicial board ended the meeting with a private deliberation. Chief Justice Kevin Kissinger said the board will make a ruling on the complaint in up to five days and announce its ruling during a senate meeting.