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Monday, November 22, 2004
Status of Senator Terre, or “How Could So Many People Shoot Their Own Feet At The Same Time?”
Some people may remember our post earlier in the week about what seemed to be the impending resignation of Senator Terre. We had omitted certain details for obvious privacy reasons, but now that the cat's out of the bag, some more straight-forward conversation on the matter can be had.
Speaking of which, the next time a Daily Cal staff member tries to give us a lesson in journalistic credibility, they should be likewise try to keep their editors from exposing a very nervous, uncomfortable, and obviously fragile victim of sexual assault. Or, perhaps it would be in order to open a dictionary and looking up the word “tact”.
Likewise, EVP Christine Lee definitely deserves a great deal of the flak she will probably receive on this issue. Lee found herself somewhat conveniently out of the state for the last week, taking some of the heat out of the issue. While her hands were bound on the constitutionality of the issue, I could definitely think of better ways to go about the dirty business of bringing it up than suing yourself. Maybe the Judicial Council needs a new charge sheet altogether for situations like this.
Speaking of charge sheets, there are some interesting points involved in this case's, which is attached to the end of this post. While EVP Lee requests a hearing, she does not request any action from the Judicial Council, which seems to be pursuing a very hardline course of action in this case. Likewise, no preliminary injunction was requested, yet one was issued on Wednesday evening, which could potentially invalidate any bills passed from last week onward.
In any event, it's time to examine the five absences that Senator Terre has received. One is for the aforementioned attack, which for all intents and purposes, should be excused for health reasons under the ASUC Constitution. At least two of the other absences were due to the sudden hospitalization of Terre's father early in the semester. Two absences are still unaccounted for. And, if the regularly scheduled meeting that was supposed to be held this Wednesday wasn't cancelled, then Terre would meet the bare minimum of attended meetings required. The whole situation is very vague, but there seems to be some justification to give Terre a waiver on the required removal.
If forced to resign over the issue, the issue would be a general black eye for the ASUC, especially with woman's rights groups. How does it look when a female senator in the ASUC loses her seat after being sexually assaulted? It certainly seems to be penalization of the victim from the outsider's perspective.
That being said, should Terre resign anyway? She obviously, after missing five meetings, has not served and can not serve in full capacity as a representative of the students in her community. Not all of the absences are excused, and Terre can not simply skate by on the excuse of having only half of the absences justified. Giving Terre an exemption from the rules also brings the credibility of the ASUC By-laws and Constitution into question. The situation is, to say the least, complicated for all sides.
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