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Senate Meeting Minutes

 

ASWNMU SENATE MEETING
(Recording of Meeting Tape 3A)
October 31, 2000

I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Vice President Cano at 7:15 a.m.

II. Pledge of Allegiance

III. Roll Call
President Murguia, Vice President Cano, Chief of Staff Loving, Secretary Zuniga, Treasurer Bocanegra, Attorney General Hazlett, Governmental Affairs Director Luna were present for the Executive Council. Senators Amavizca, Denton, Gomez, Guevara, Levitt, Perez, Preston, Romano, Rutherford, Talimatasi, Urquijo, were present for the Senate. Senator Kenny was late.

IV. Approval of Agenda
Senator Levitt asked to move New Business D to item VI. Executive Council reports AA. Senator Denton moved to approve the agenda as changed. Seconded by Senator Romano. Motion carried 11-0.

V. Approval of the Minutes
Senator Denton moved to approve the minutes of October 17, 2000. Senator Guevara seconded. Motion carried 12-0.

VI. Executive Council Reports
AA. Executive Council - Recommendation for Vice President Cano's expulsion.
Senator Levitt moved to allow the Executive Council 7 minutes to present their argument, 7 minutes to Vice President Cano for her defense, 20 minutes of discussion, a ten minute recess for the Senators to discuss in private and a secret ballot. Senator Romano seconded. Motion carried 11-0.
President Murguia -
President Murguia informed the Senate that the Executive Council had all agreed to ask the Senate to expel Vice President Guadalupe Cano from her office. The charges brought to her were:
1. Going against her Oath of Office as to represent her position under the Executive Council.
2. Acting solely on personal motives that harm the organization, and progression of the ASWNMU Executive Council, ASWMNU Senate and the entire Associated Students of Western New Mexico University. .
3. Giving false impressions to the Silver City Daily Press to allow a story to be written that harms the consistency of the Executive Council.
a. This includes falsehoods about VP Cano's resignation as Mustang Editor.
President Murguia expressed his duty as Student Body President to obtain integrity, communication and cooperation among the Executive Council. He mentioned that he offered his full support to Lupe Cano concerning her issue of plagiarism. President Murguia notified her that he and Attorney General Zeke Hazlett had spoken to Dr. Farren in order to help her. He stated that Lupe Cano's actions have caused a lack of common ground between the Executive Council and Guadalupe Cano and that this common ground is essential, in order to give the students their best.
Vice President Cano -
Vice President Cano stated that she did not involve the Student Council in any of the issues stated in the Silver City Daily Press. She said that she was not aware of the charges brought to her until today. She stated that she had asked President Murguia to give to her in writing the reasons why she was being expelled. President Murguia refused but told her that he would let her know personally. Vice President Cano also explained that she went to Dr. Farren with her complaint because she felt that he was ultimately in control and could best address the situation. When he failed to do so, she felt that the only choice she had was to take the issue of plagiarism out of the university and this is when she went to the Silver City Daily Press. She asked the Senate to give her more time to better prepare her defense now that she was fully aware of the charges.
Discussion:
Senator Urquijo -
Senator Urquijo asked Guadalupe Cano about the choices that were given to her to deal with the issue of plagiarism.
Guadalupe Cano - Stated that she had been give 3 options. 1. Write a letter concerning the issue to the Mustang. 2. Have a committee, chosen by the president of the university, formed to evaluate the situation 3. Write a letter to the vice president of the university concerning the issue. She explained that she did not pursue any of these recommendations because she did not feel comfortable with any.
Senator Rutherford -
Senator Rutherford inquired about why Lupe Cano did not go to President Murguia so that he could tell her the charges brought against her.
Guadalupe Cano -
Lupe Cano replied that she did not go to President Murguia because she had been advised by a lawyer to get the charges down in writing.
Senator Urquijo -
Senator Urquijo asked Lupe what the purpose was of the second article put out by the Silver City Daily Press.
Guadalupe Cano -
Lupe Cano replied that when she found out that the Executive Council was going to ask for her expulsion; she needed to reach out to the community to inform them of the events taking place. She also mentioned that she felt as if her right to freedom of speech was being violated.
President Murguia -
President Murguia read a section of the October 25th Executive Branch meeting where he informed Lupe that they were behind her He informed Lupe that he and Attorney General Hazlett had spoken to Dr. Farren to try and reinstate her as editor of the Mustang. They were told that our Constitution had to first be changed. He advised Vice President Cano not to do anything behind anyone's back. President Murguia then read the letter in which the Executive Council informed Vice President Cano that charges were being brought against her before the Senate and that the Executive Council was recommending expulsion. Next, he read a letter addressed to him by Vice President Cano in which she states that, under the United States Constitution, she has the right to due process. Therefore, she requested a detailed account of the charges brought against her in writing, in order to defend herself. She felt that if this information was not given to her, then her rights had been violated. President Murguia replied to Vice President Cano that this was a student issue and that the charges against her were not in a civil or criminal process but in an organizational process. He also clarified that the ASWMNU Executive Council worked directly under the ASWNMU Constitution and not the United States Constitution. President Murguia told Vice President Cano that if she felt that her Constitutional rights had been violated to feel free to bring it to his attention.
Vice President Cano -
Vice President Cano stated that her concern was about her Constitutional right. She also mentioned that at the Executive Branch meeting of October 25th, Chief of Staff Loving told Vice President Cano that being an individual had consequences. Vice President Cano also informed the Senate that she knew about a member in the Executive Branch who asked for the expulsion of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, simply for being an individual.
Senator Urquijo -
Senator Urquijo asked Vice President Cano if she had given up her position as editor of the Mustang voluntarily.
Vice President Cano -
Vice President Cano replied, yes.
President Murguia -
President Murguia informed the Senate that Supreme Court Associate Justice John Castillo Gonzales indeed had been addressed with a concern: Some members of both the Executive Council and student body had requested that John Castillo Gonzales be investigated for biased actions. Mr. Castillo Gonzales solicited signatures for a petition in Vice President Cano's defense, without knowing both sides of the issue. This presented a problem in that a Supreme Court Associate Justice must remain unbiased in order to fulfill his duties adequately. Mr. Castillo Gonzales thanked President Murguia for bringing this to his attention. At this point, a member from the audience mentioned that those who signed the petition did so of their own free will.
President Murguia -
President Murguia agreed but stated that nowhere on the petition did it mention the reasons for Vice President Cano's expulsion.
Senator Urquijo -
Senator Urquijo asked Vice President Cano if she felt that she had destroyed the bridge of communication that existed between her, the Executive Council and the Senate.
Vice President Cano -
Vice President Cano stated that she has tried to keep that communication open and has not destroyed that bridge.
Senator Levitt -
Senator Levitt asked President Murguia to state the charges against Vice President Cano.
President Murguia -
President Murguia stated that Vice President Cano had gone against her Oath of Office in representing the Executive Council. He also stated that with her actions Vice President Cano betrayed the trust of both the Executive Council and the student body. Therefore, causing a lack of common ground between her and members of the Executive Council.
At this point, the discussion was over and Pro-Tempore Denton called for a 10-minute recess at 7:55 a.m. so that the Senate may discuss the issue in private.
Called Back to order at 8:05 a.m.
Senator Urquijo moved to remove Vice President Cano from her office. Senator Guevara seconded. Secret ballot was performed. Motion carried 12-0. Senator Pro-Tempore Denton advanced to the position of Vice President. Floor Leader Preston advanced to the position of Pro Tempore. Attorney General Hazlett swore in Erin Denton as Vice President.
A. President Murguia
President Murguia introduced Nick Sloan as a possible candidate for ASWNMU Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. This concluded his report.
B. Vice President Denton Nothing to report.
C. Chief of Staff Loving
Chief of Staff Loving informed the Senate that out of the $1,800.00 funds that were allocated for homecoming, $282.17 was left. This concluded her report.
D. Secretary Zuniga Nothing to report.
E. Treasurer Bocanegra Restated the figures given by Chief of Staff Loving. This concluded his report.
F. Attorney General Hazlett
Attorney General Hazlett advised the Senate to learn Robert's Rule of Order. This concluded his report.
G. Governmental Affairs Director Luna Nothing to report.

VII. Old Business
None

VIII. New Business
A. Club Recognition
1. Social Work Club - Senator Urquijo moved to accept the Social Work Club. Senator Talimatasi seconded. Motion carried 11-0. 2.
B. Club Allocation S.A.M. Club - not recognized. Senator Preston moved to table the S.A.M. Club until present. Senator Rutherford seconded. Motion carried 11-0.
C. Senate Appointment - Mario Castillo President Murguia asked the Senate to recognize Mario Castillo as a possible candidate for the ASWNMU Senate. Senator Urquijo moved to accept Mario Castillo as an ASWNMU senator. Senator Perez seconded. Motion carried 11-0. At this point, Mario Castillo was sworn in by Attorney General Zeke Hazlett.

IX. Announcements -
John Gosek informed everyone that the WNMU National Education Association is having a book raffle for American Education Week. Senator Urquijo moved to table the nomination of Floor Leader. Senator Perez seconded. Motion carried 11-0.The next meeting is on November 14th at 7:15 a.m.

X. Adjournment
Senator Talimastiasi moved to adjourn at 8:30 a.m. Seconded by Senator Kenny. Motion carried 11-0.


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