Jul 09, 2020
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Petition for impeachment

Several students have put together a petition for the impeachment of ASI President Mackee M. Mason and Executive Vice President Sandra Flores.

Former ASI presidential candidates Walter Ramirez and Oscar Perez, along with a few other students, are heading the group to petition for Mason and Flores’ removal.

The petition asks for Mason and Flores to be removed for violations of ASI Bylaws and the Code of Conduct. Ramirez and Perez encourage students who agree with the removal to sign.

Mason and Flores admitted violating the “substance free pledge” during the ASI retreat in July, where underage drinking took place. They are also involved in a lawsuit against ASI and California State University, Fresno, Association, Inc. claiming the wrongful termination of the former ASI executive director.

Perez said the group of students has been working on getting student signatures for the past week and will present the petition at today’s ASI Senate meeting in USU 312 at 4 p.m.

Ramirez will present the petition to the senators and ask for the impeachment of Mason and Flores.
Ramirez said the goal is to put pressure on the Senate to “make the right decision.”

“We need to keep representatives of ASI accountable for what they do,” Ramirez, a senior political science major, said.

Although the Senate does not have to consider the petition as part of its decision, Ramirez said he wants to try to influence the Senate to vote Mason and Flores out of office.

“We want to influence the vote in the interest of the students,” Ramirez said.

Lauren Johnson, vice president of finance and spokesperson for the Senate, said she is aware of the petition, but is not sure if all members of the Senate know about it. She said it is the Senate’s job to represent the students.

“It’s their duty to do what the students want,” Johnson said. “If a lot of students have signed the petition, I think the Senate will take that in to accountability.”

Ramirez and Perez hope to collect at least 500 signatures, outweighing the number of student votes that got each Mason and Flores into office.

“We want to have more votes to get them out than they got [to get] in,” Perez, a senior social work major, said.

As of Tues. afternoon, the students had about 400 signatures.

Mason was elected in April with 474 student votes.

The former candidates and their supporters have been passing the petition around campus and in their classes to collect signatures.

Ramirez said he has received mixed reactions to the petition. Some students don’t know much about what is going on and others are supportive of Mason and Flores. However, Ramirez said that most students he talks to are willing to sign.

Although neither Perez nor Ramirez would have a chance to take office if Mason was removed, they believe Mason has not taken his job seriously.

“They knew what they were doing in office and they have made a joke out of the whole thing,” Perez said.

Perez said he does not feel probation is suitable for what the two executives did.

“Probation means nothing,” Perez said. “They should be removed from office.”

Johnson said there is nothing in the ASI Bylaws about student petitions for impeachment. If the Senate does decide to vote on the issue and it does take action, there is a process, Johnson said.

There are three ways for executives to be removed from office including a two-thirds vote from the Senate, three or more absences from meetings or becomeing ineligible due to academic disqualification or disciplinary action taken by the university.

Johnson did not know what the Senate plans to do today. Johnson was unsure of what will happen next.
“It never gets to this point,” Johnson said.

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