SGA should have an outlined process about debate leading to a recall election

SGA should have an outlined process for recalling a President

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

To prevent chaos and wasting time in the future, the Student Government Association should create guidelines for what to do during a Senate meeting leading up to a potential recall election.

Recently the SGA Senate passed a “Resolution of Recall” to have a recall election for their President, Arsalan Darbin. The side in favor of the recall claims that Darbin created a hostile work environment and said transphobic and sexist things to his cabinet. They also mentioned that Darbin didn’t pass the SGA budget by the Sept. 30 deadline. 

The side against the recall denied the allegations and claimed they were false attacks. Darbin also said he has done everything in his constitutional power to effectively serve as president.

Now a special election will happen to determine if Darbin stays or goes.

On Oct. 6, the Senate held a meeting where they passed this resolution. Before voting, they held several moderated caucuses where SGA members gave their testimony. There were accusations of transphobia and sexism. There was also an accusation about a threat of physical violence. 

Some of Darbin’s friends spoke about how good of a guy he was and how he was a great guy and great student. One brought up how Darbin helped him through some tough times. While these students were trying to make Darbin’s character look good, the information was still irrelevant.

Darbin being a good friend or a good student has nothing to do with any of the allegations mentioned. A useful testimony would be claiming that Darbin never said anything sexist and that he was in fact very supportive of the women in his cabinet. However, these people never mentioned anything relevant to the actual grievances.

This was wasted time. Instead of focusing on the accusations, time was spent considering the president’s friendships with people outside of SGA, which was completely irrelevant. 

The main issue is that there wasn’t an outlined process on how to handle voting for a recall. People talked about irrelevant things which shouldn’t happen in a meeting focusing on something as serious as a recall. Darbin spent most of his seven minutes allotted to speak talking about his childhood.

“So a little bit about myself, some background information in case you guys don’t know me,” Darbin said. “I was born in Iran in the middle east. I was 11 years old… when we moved to India.”

Darbin continued talking about his life giving details about the hardships he and his family went through when immigrating. The speech, though detailed and inspiring in how much he overcame, had nothing to do with the grievances that were brought to the Senate by Senator Abraham Sanchez.

By the time he started to rebut the points made by Sanchez, the Speaker of the Senate had to cut him off due to him going overtime. The meeting should have been more streamlined making it required for speakers to stick to talking about the recall and the grievances.

Instead, the meeting felt chaotic with people going on tangents that had little to do with the topic at hand.

It’s hard to blame the participants, as there is no precedent for a recall process. In order to prevent chaotic meetings like this from happening in the future, SGA should come up with a process for meetings in which the Senate votes on a recall election. 

This way, no time is wasted and the Senate can take the time to hear all relevant information before voting.

Anna Baker is an English senior who can be reached at [email protected]

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