On Tuesday, April 5, three ASMSU senators were removed from office. The ASMSU bylaws state that a senator can have no more than two unexcused absences per semester, and the attendance records of Senators Katie O’Keefe and Emily Stimac from the College of Letters & Science and At Large Senator Amaryllis Oswald caused Senate Speaker Josh Soares to dismiss them from their positions. Stimac is an ASMSU Vice-Presidential candidate.
The ASMSU Senate is currently in the process of budgeting for the 2016-2017 academic year, and approving the budget requires a majority vote. Quorum is required in order for senate to vote on anything, and a majority of senate voting members need to be present to achieve quorum. “If you were to keep people in senate who aren’t showing up to meetings, it puts quorum in danger,” Soares said. “Having three meetings left to be able to pass a budget, if we were to miss one meeting without taking any votes, it would put us in a tricky situation to fulfill our duties to the student body and pass a reasonable budget.”
In a joint statement, Oswald and Stimac said, “We dispute the facts of this issue. We believe we had properly excused our absences and we were surprised by the speaker’s decision to dismiss us and we will dispute this.”
ASMSU Director of Operations Marianne Brough also commented, saying, “Amaryllis, Emily and Katie have been invested in ASMSU and are proud of representing their colleges. I appreciate their contributions to Senate. I would be happy to work with them in future leadership opportunities.”