Student Association (SA) members, on Monday, Jan. 22, have voted to remove representative Maura Losh from their ranks.
Under house motion HM 17-19, representative Losh was reviewed by SA during its regular general assembly meeting. Losh was reviewed on charges brought last semester by Kelsey Earle, a former representative who graduated in December.
“I presented the charges at the end of the semester after numerous talks with the president, speaker, the committee chairs and others on the committees (Losh) was on,” Earle said.
Fifteen SA members voted in favor of the motion to remove Losh, while one voted against it and three others abstained.
“I am very disappointed with the association and the review process as a whole,” Losh said. “I was unaware of those concerns until they were submitted and was not given adequate time to explain how false (they were) and disgusted I was by the charges.”
Charges brought against Losh included allegations that she had once said she was showing up to a meeting only to vote down a particular pro-LGBT house motion; been overheard disparaging SA’s diversity outreach efforts; attended assembly meetings in inappropriate attire; used inappropriate language to describe her job during SA office hours and that she had been “domineering” towards SA committee chairs.
According to SA Parliamentarian Sean Mueller, the last time SA saw a representative review vote was in January 2012, making Monday’s vote a first for every representative present.
“This is the first time in recent memory that something like this has happened, even for me, who has been here for some time,” Earle said. “I think the actions were just.”
Under SA’s bylaws, representatives may be brought up for a review vote by any other representative. A three-fourths majority is required to remove a representative from SA.
Before Monday’s review vote, Mueller read the relevant SA bylaws that dictate the strictly regimented sequence representatives must speak in during a review. The usual Facebook livestream of the general assembly meeting was turned off, then the charges against Losh were read in full.
Losh was allowed to respond directly to the charges in front of the assembly. After reading her statement, she then took part in a question-and-answer session with other representatives. Losh then left the room while the rest of the representatives continued to debate.
Representatives went through two rounds of discussion where each representative could only speak once and for only one minute. The representatives’ time restrictions meant that SA’s executive board had an easy time keeping the discussion on track and civil while the charges were discussed.
Next, a secret ballot was taken, and Losh was informed of the results. The meeting then concluded normally.
“I believe the review process was conducted effectively and allowed members to express their opinions critically and strategically due to the time restrictions of the process,” said SA President Lauren Kreiss.
After the vote, some representatives expressed discomfort with the ease with which SA had just removed one of its representatives. It was noted that at least two of the most recently appointed representative had not abstained from voting on allegations that were made before they had entered the body.
“I am comfortable with the actual review process, but not how someone can automatically be put up for review at any time,” Kreiss said. “(SA Speaker) McKenna Ciner and I have a drafted up a contract to help create a checks-and-balance process for the future. That way, if there is an issue, we can formally address it by presenting this contract to the individual stating that their behavior is being questioned.”