AUSG Undergraduate Senate releases report on Secretary resignation and application process

After a week of investigation, the AUSG Undergraduate Senate Committee on Oversight and Accountability (COA) released its report on “Allegations of Misconduct with Regard to the Resignation of Faith Rokowski and the Management of the Resultant Application Process.”

In its Foreword, COA Committee Chair Alexis Arnell said, “It was my sincere hope that this investigation would turn up nothing… I do not believe this is the case.”

The COA came to seven overall findings and conclusions. The main findings were that AUSG President Devontae Torriente did ask Former Secretary Rokowski to resign, and the application process to replace Rokowski was not unethical, but inexpertly conducted.

This report was comprised of interviews with members of the AUSG executive branch, emails sent by members of AUSG and official AUSG documents.

The report was released by email during the Sept. 18 meeting of the AUSG Undergraduate Senate. After taking a 15 minute recess to allow the Senators to read the report, the Senators chose to table the report until the next session of the Undergraduate Senate, on Sept. 25. This was done to allow the Senators to take more time to read the full report.

Next week, the Senators will have five options: they can vote down the report, someone can file a case with the Judicial Board, the Senate can censure member(s) of AUSG, the Senate can suspend member(s) of AUSG or five Senators can file impeachment charges against member(s) of AUSG.

Voting down the report would mean that the Undergraduate Senate does not adopt the report as the body’s opinion.

A case with the Judicial Board would require a separate investigation, that would include the COA report, and then the five members of the Judicial Board would issue a judicial opinion and/or judicial order that can potentially set precedence or rectify grievances by imposing sanctions. The Judicial Board can also suspend member(s) of AUSG.

Censuring a member of AUSG would mean that the Undergraduate Senate severely disapproves of the person’s actions, but does not necessarily think impeachment is warranted. That member of AUSG would then be required to “appear at the next meeting of the full Undergraduate Senate to be questioned by the Senate.” If the Senate then wanted to file impeachment charges, they would have to wait one week after questioning the person to do so.

To suspend a member of AUSG, a Senator would have to make a motion, and that motion would have to pass by a two-thirds majority. Suspension would not exceed one month, and the duties of that member would be executed by an individual chosen by a majority vote of the other elected executives.

If Senators wanted to file impeachment charges, then it would require one Senator to sponsor the charges, and four additional senators to co-sponsor. The charges would then be reviewed by the Committee of Rules and Privileges. If a majority vote of the committee concurs, then the full Senate would review the case and formally hear the charges of impeachment. If a two-thirds majority of the Senators present and voting occurs, then the member would be found guilty and be automatically removed from office.

For now, the students of American University will have to wait. In the next week, if you have an opinion about what you want your Senators to do, then speak to them. They are your representatives, and you can create change if you want to.

Originally seen on