Little not charged, Lehman suspended

Accusations against Undergraduate Student Government Speaker Jeremy Lehman and President Bernard Little have left Lehman facing disciplinary actions and Little with a clear record.

During last night’s emergency USG meeting, a heated and chaotic debate broke out surrounding two proposed resolutions to discipline Lehman and Little. Lehman was stripped of his speaker privileges at both last night’s and USG’s Jan. 8 meeting. Had the second resolution passed, Little would have lost his presidential voice for a total of three meetings.

Natalia Ramos, at-large senator, said she was appalled by the meeting, calling it “disgusting” and comparing it to a “circus.”

“It wasn’t professional at all,” she said. “There were too many misinterpretations of the bylaws and the constitution.”

The resolutions were written after last week’s meeting, when Chief Administrator Josie Miller resigned from her position for next semester due to her acceptance of an out-of-state internship.

Upon Miller’s resignation, Little immediately appointed Senator Tony Wagener as the new chief administrator. Lehman then asked if there were objections, and seeing none, approved Wagener for the position.

The resolutions suggested Little did not follow the constitution and bylaws, which state the chief administrator must be a member of the Board of Procedures and Appeals. The other resolution stated Lehman did not follow the constitution, which states the appointee must be approved by a two-thirds vote.

In hopes to set a precedent for similar situations in the future, the resolutions were written by Miller and sponsored by senators Johnnie Lewis and Jason Snead.

The first resolution presented issues with actions taken by Lehman.

Lehman promoted the passage of the resolution while reading a statement to the senators.

“I urge you all to vote in favor of this legislation,” he said.

The resolution passed, forcing Lehman to temporarily relinquish his position as speaker, a position Lewis will fill during Lehman’s suspension.

There were objections to Lewis replacing Lehman because of a possible conflict of interest stemming from Lewis co-sponsoring the resolution.

After a short recess, the second resolution was debated concerning Little’s alleged neglect of the constitution and bylaws in appointing Wagener.

During the debate, at large senator Nate Wiedenhoft claimed the debate had no merit.

“I’ve been here four years and I’ve never seen a childish, petty argument like this,” Wiedenhoft said.

At-large Senator Mike Vecchio also questioned the validity of the resolution and asked senators to consider the “potential egos clashing” as the reason behind the debate.

Little said he found no reason for the presented resolutions or lengthy debate.

“If our senate wants to waste time talking about internal affairs issues instead of the student body, it’s their meeting,” Little said.

Little said he did not know why the senators chose to discipline Lehman but not him, stating “It’s all in the vote.”

“The same people that voted to give Jeremy that punishment voted to not give me that punishment,” he said.