Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Legislation to restore ASM reps to seats fails

ASM representative Tom Templeton takes an early look at the ASM internal budget, which no longer includes a textbook swap, at Wednesday’s meeting.[/media-credit]

The student government voted down a piece of legislation intended to retain two student representatives who had been removed from their positions.

The Associated Students of Madison student council rejected a piece of legislation in a vote of 6-14-2 designed to allow former Vice Chair Beth Huang and former Nominations Board Chair Niko Magallon to return to their positions during a meeting Wednesday night.

The Student Judiciary removed both representatives from their positions earlier in the semester, alleging they had not fulfilled mandated community service orders on time for violating ASM election rules.


The legislation asserted the Student Judiciary’s order to remove Magallon and Huang was invalid because the judicial branch of the student government does not have the power to remove elected student council representatives.

Representative Nneka Akubeze, co-sponsor of the legislation, and Magallon said the power to remove representatives lies within the student council as defined by ASM bylaws.

Akubeze added the Student Judiciary undermined the power of the student council and the decision could pose serious consequences to the balance of power within ASM.

Chief Justice Kathryn Fifield said the bylaws Akubeze cited pertain to the impeachment process.

The decision to remove Magallon and Huang from office had nothing to do with their performance as representatives, Fifield said. They did not meet the requirements to hold a position on the council.

Fifield said the representatives were active participants in constructing the remedy to their violation and were aware of the consequences if they did not fulfill those demands.

“The agreement was made months ago, and I don’t understand what all the shock and awe is about,” Fifield said.

Fifield added nothing about the situation was ideal, and the Student Judiciary did the best it could with the information it was presented with.

Magallon said he had been hopeful but knew the result would not end in his favor.

“When confronted with basically trying to overturn the will of another branch of ASM, (the council) gets a little bit scared of that process even if that branch is incorrect,” Magallon said.

Huang said she understood the arguments brought up by Magallon and Akubeza, but she thought the student council was the wrong arena to discuss the issue in.

Huang added although she did not agree with Student Judiciary’s decision, she did not entirely support the legislation even though she would have benefited from it had it passed.

Both Magallon and Huang have applied for positions on student council through Nominations Board.

The ASM internal budget was also presented during the meeting.

University Affairs Chair Sade Johnson informed the council she removed the ASM book swap from the internal budget.

Johnson said the responsibility of the textbook swap is not something the University Affairs chair should not bear.

Johnson added if the council wanted to continue the event, it would have to explore a different avenue for coordinating it.

“All together, we should just get rid of the ASM textbook swap,” Johnson said.

Johnson said working on a campaign to reduce textbook prices overall would get to the core of the issue.

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