Senator’s dismissal overshadows discussions

After an eventful last meeting, the Student Senate got back to the floor this week.

“It was a learning experience for all of us,” said Student Senate President Hector Amaya, of last week’s emergency adjournment after former Senator Dylan Slagle adamantly refused to leave the meeting.

Slagle has since been removed from Senate and placed on disciplinary probation. Whether that was a unilateral decision on the part of Doug Carnahan, dean of students, or anyone else remains unclear.

“Generally I don’t intervene with Student Senate business unless there is a violation of University policy, such was the case at last week’s meeting,” Carnahan said.

Carnahan did say Slagle’s removal was due to violations of part of the student handbook.

Slagle’s removal has raised the question of the Senate’s and the student body’s power in determining who sits on the legislative body. Senator Will Lynch, sophomore political science major, along with other Senators who plan a petition opposing Slagle’s removal, presented this issue.

“We’re trying to defend the voice of the students, he is what they voted for,” Lynch said.

Other Senators, including Parliamentarian Adam Hancock plan to fight for a Slagle appeal, saying faculty and administration should have no power over the elected body.

“I was the one he was arguing with [him, last week], but at the same time I will fight for him,” Hancock said.

Amaya agrees “People should not be punished for their opinion,” but he believes that on this issue, no one is being censored.

“My voice, that would be my opinion and I represent the student body,” he said. “Whatever the majority of the student body feels I will accept that. People might say I’m wishy washy, it’s not that, I can’t let my personal emotions or opinions get in the way of that when I feel like I’m speaking for the student body.”

The Senate did approve the allocation of $2,700 dollars for student travel, and will consider seven newly proposed resolutions for next weeks meeting.

Slagle had the opportunity to appeal his probation until the end of today, as of press time, Slagle was unsure of his course of action. Though Slagle told The Chart he accepts the consequences of his actions, his removal is “causing a rift” to form, cutting the Senate in half.

“I would love to look back and say yeah it was worth it, if they change,” he said, “There are a lot of senators, many that I argued with that day, that want the change I proposed, they just weren’t ready to look at it through my eyes.”

Though few agreed with his actions, should he decide to appeal he will have the support of a number of his former colleagues.

“It was [Voltaire] who said, I do not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” Lynch said, “it’s protecting a voice, not just Dylan’s voice but of the 50 people who signed his petition.”