Student Senate votes to investigate board member if impeachment vote not approved by AS Board
At their Monday, Jan. 14 meeting, the Associated Students Student Senate unanimously voted in support of an investigation into the conduct of Associated Students Vice President for Business and Operations Genaro Meza-Roa. This investigation would take place if the AS Board of Directors does not approve the senate’s recommendation of impeachment of Meza-Roa at their Friday meeting.
The meeting of the student senate, the first one of the newly elected group, featured discussions of concerns that Meza-Roa was not fulfilling his duties as a board member. According to AS VP for Academic Affairs Levi Eckman, Meza-Roa was invited to the senate meeting but did not attend.
According to an article by the AS Review, at board meetings fall quarter, Meza-Roa clashed with fellow board members as they confronted him after his use of a derogatory term for people with mental disabilities to describe a committee. Similar tensions arose when AS VP Ama Monkah accused Meza-Roa of misogyny after he was the only board member to vote no on appointing Celia Major to the AS Activities Council, on which Monkah is the only female member. Meza-Roa denied these allegations of misogyny, according to the AS Review.
At the senate meeting, student senators also expressed concerns about the amount of work Meza-Roa is doing in his role on the Board of Directors.
“It seems like a really important issue. There’s a lot more to this and we should consider a motion to start an investigative process,” Riley Embly, a senator from Huxley College of the Environment said prior to the vote. “An elected official should be held to a higher standard.”
Since his election to the AS Board of Directors, fellow members of the board have expressed a complaint that Meza-Roa left a board meeting abruptly, according to the AS Review.
“It doesn’t make sense to me why this individual doesn’t want to have a good working relationship with everyone,” AS VP for Activities Ama Monkah said.
The AS Student Senate has the power to investigate and discipline any AS Board member, according to senate bylaws. Disciplinary action for board members can range from an apology approved by 51 percent of senate members, to a formal removal of the AS Board member approved by 75 percent of the student senate.
“I did let [Meza-Roa] know there were consequences he could be facing,” AS President Millka Solomon said to the room of senators at the senate meeting.
AS Board members can also be recalled by a majority vote in a special election, which is initiated by a petition of at least 40 percent of the votes in the general election, according to the AS Board election code. The recall process can also be initiated by a vote of the AS Board.
This article was updated on Jan. 16 to clarify that an investigation would take place only if the student senate’s recommendation for impeachment was not approved by the AS Board. It was also updated to correct the fact that Meza-Roa was only accused of walking out of one meeting abruptly, rather than multiple.