Trivial Bullshit

A little while back the Student Union senate voted to impeach Diana Aronin, Union Secretary, and censure president Andy Hogan. Why? The Senate voted on an amendment to add a midyear Senator position to the constitution, and Diana/Andy didn’t put it up for a vote. You can read the Hoot if you want more information.

A year ago I would have been really interested in covering this.

Honestly? This is all meaningless bullshit. I really don’t much care anymore. The only thing worse than a powerless, meaningless senate is one that tries to flex its muscles in an unproductive, petty way.

This latest development, however, puts a smile on my face:

Petitioner Name: Deena Glucksman
Party against whom the case is being brought: Jenna Rubin, Executive
Senator of Student Union
Complaint: As of December 6, 2009, Student Union Secretary Diana
Aronin ’11, was impeached by the Senate for “willfully corrupting and
violating the duties set forth to her in the Union Constitution.”
According to the Union Constitution, Article X, Section 2, “A
two-thirds vote of the Senate is required to impeach an elected Union
Government official.” According to the Senate Resolution F09-3, 11
senators voted to impeach Secretary Aronin. There are currently 20
Senators seated on the Senate out of a possible 24. Neither an 11 out
of 20 nor an 11 out of 23 vote is greater than or equal to a
two-thirds vote. As a result, the impeachment was voted upon and
enacted unconstitutionally.

If this is true, Jenna Rubin comes out looking really dumb.

Update: Nope. Ms. Glucksman’s got it wrong. I’ve got many emails last night regarding this post. I love it when that happens. It turns out that 14 people voted for impeachment, but 11 people signed the articles of impeachment, and you need 2/3 of senators present when you have a quorum, rather than 2/3 of all total senators who are seated. I wrote this post in haste last night. Normally I’d do my due diligence on this. Thanks for keeping me honest.


9 thoughts on “Trivial Bullshit”

  1. Sean, making a baseless claim that I’m wrong doesn’t contribute to the dialogue on this blog. Would you care to provide any reasoning for your claim?

    I have not made any bold claims. All I have done is share the facts of this case. An amendment was proposed to the secretary and presented to the senate. Diana had to schedule the vote to take place within 15 academic days of the senate presentation. This did not happen. Thus she violated her constitutional duties. Hence impeachment.

    I admit, I have some inside information that will probably be revealed during the trial. The sponsor of the amendment showed me the emails to Diana asking about the vote for the amendment. She thought she could just put it through the constitutional review task force, even though the constitution clearly lays out the process for campus-wide votes on amendments. Her failure to understand and follow the rules resulted in her impeachment. This isn’t a bold claim…it’s plain fact.

  2. So Jenna “misread” the constitution but Diana “willfully corrupted it”?. Sounds a little much like a double standard. Furthermore, George, you are just wrong plain and simple. I suggest you wait for the case to go to trial before making your bold claims.

  3. Thank you, George, for clearing it up. Obviously Deena’s case has no merit since the senate took action while it had quorum.

  4. From what I understand, the Aronin was notified several times both by e-mail and in person that an amendment was proposed, yet she chose not to put it up for a vote because it seemed easier to let it just be discussed by the constitutional review task force. Then Hogan agrees with the secretary and tells her to wait for the constitutional review committee instead of reading 5 simple sentences in the constitution that describe the exact process for amendments.

    It’s totally irrelevant whether or not the secretary and president intentionally ignored their constitutional duties, or had too much work to do and couldn’t spend a mere 5 minutes to review the amendments section of the constitution. I suggest you read up on the legal principle “ignorantia juris non excusat” for a better understanding of why intentions don’t matter in this case:

    Running for public office is like having a job. If you don’t have time for it and/or ignore the rules, you get fired. Plain and simple.

  5. I’m going to take a moment and defend innermost parts here. I agree that the censure and the impeachment is “meaningless bullshit.” You see, at first glance its easy to assume that Hogan and his E-Board are “OMG, curupt you guyzzz!!” But don’t you think it’s weird that they deliberately ignored the will of the Senate? They must have known that they would get caught.

    It doesn’t make sense until you realize that Hogan and his E-Board did what a lot of us would have done if we were forced to dealing with a work overload, countless meeting, and an election system that is iffy at best: they forgot. And instead of the Senate going to the E-Board and having a conversation like this:

    Senator (waves amendment): “Hey guys, you forgot something.”
    Hogan: Oh, whoops.

    The actual course of events struck me as more like this:

    Senator: ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!!! And you’re secretary is impeached. Lolz.
    Hogan: WTF?!

    We don’t think this is “meaningless bullshit” because we want to see the E-Board get away with unconstitutional actions. We would just like the Senate to acknowledge that people make mistakes and no one is perfect (that should be especially easy for the Senators who don’t show up to meetings).

    Sahar, I approve.

  6. Aronin was not impeached and Hogan was not censured due to any senate vote on an amendment. The amendment was proposed at the end of LAST semester, and when it was reintroduced earlier this semester, the secretary didn’t put it up for a vote by the student body within the allotted time frame. This is a constitutional requirement of her (and ultimately Andy’s) job, yet was ignored.

    Ms. Glucksman must have absolutely no knowledge of the constitution to put forth such a ridiculous and frivolous UJ case. Let’s look at the following Q&A to understand how the senate acted legally and constitutionally:

    Q: What number of senators constitutes a quorum?
    A: 11 out of 20 total senators
    Q: How many senators were present?
    A: 11
    Q: Of those who were present, how many voted in favor?
    A: 11
    Q: What percentage is 11 out of 11?
    A: 100%
    Q: What percentage of senators needed to vote in favor of impeachment to make it legal?
    A: 66.6%
    Q: Is 100% bigger than 66.6%?
    A: YES!

    Anyone who even pays at least 5% attention to the union understands that when the senate votes on anything (a bylaw, a resolution, a club, impeachment, etc.), the vote is considered to have been in the affirmative when a majority (or two-thirds in some cases) of the senators PRESENT AT THE MEETING vote in favor (assuming at least a quorum of the current senate membership is present). Yes, this is how all bodies under parliamentary rules operate. If a club comes before senate and requests charter, and 11 of 20 total elected senators are present, then the club only requires 6 votes in favor of charter to be approved!

    On a final note, I’m amazed by the total hypocrisy displayed by innermostparts. You claim to care about democracy at Brandeis and having the student union live up to the school’s mission, yet you ignore the antidemocratic and unconstitutional decisions made by the elected student leadership. I don’t think holding an eboard position in a $1,000,000 organization is “meaningless bullshit” as you so eloquently stated. It’s amazing how innermostparts would freak out when student leaders last year and the year before did minuscule things you disagreed with, yet now you don’t care to hold any of the current leadership accountable? Please do us all a favor and either admit that you are a hypocrite or that you were wrong in the past for writing incessantly about “meaningless bullshit” and demonizing past leaders.

  7. It’s funny, when officials intentionally violate the rules, bypassing the legislative branch and never putting something up to a public vote as not only the constitution but legislative government demands, trying to grant student autonomy (as these meetings are open to the public, people generally know one or two of their senators, etc.) you consider this to be petty (not to mention the irony when you protest for student voices in board of trustees decisions).

    Then you call this young woman out for arguably MISREADING the constitution, rather than being told of the correct interpretation and willfully disregarding it as your heroes have done, and you call her out by name and call her dumb? Have you no shame? Do you realize these people need to apply for jobs and graduate school? I realize you guys won’t change your hypocrisy on the issues, but please, show that over the years at Brandeis you’ve at least become slightly less cruel and vindictive human beings and take out the last line. I’ve always thought you guys were partisan hacks, but the diss at the end is sickening. May G-d have mercy.

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