On Wednesday evening, Carlos Tejeda accepted an offer to become a Students’ Association Class of 2011 Senator. He will be filling the fourth 2011 senator spot, which was vacated by Vincent Stilletti following his Oct. 29 impeachment.
According to Speaker of the Senate Sam Lehman, Stilletti was slated for removal after repeated absences from Senate and committee meetings.
“Senate bylaws state that if a senator misses two unexcused senate meetings, he or she is put on the agenda for removal,” Lehman said.
Deputy Speaker of the Senate Jennifer Principio noted that Stilletti had missed three Senate meetings, all but one Students’ Association Appropriations Committee meeting and all but one Communications and Public Relations Committee meeting at the time of his removal.
Lehman and Principio said they were initially understanding of his Senate absences. However, it became a problem when SA Treasurer Susan Barnish informed them that SAAC couldn’t always make quorum because of his frequent nonattendance.
Lehman then met with Stilletti to inform him that he could be impeached if he did not begin to fulfill his commitments.
“However, even after being informally notified, he still missed one of each [a Senate meeting, a SAAC meeting, and a Communications meeting],” Principio said.
Stilletti’s removal was then placed on the agenda, and he was informed he would be given the opportunity to plead his case to the Senate before any action was taken. On Oct. 29, the Senate convened and in a roll call vote Stilletti was impeached.
According to Stilletti, he explained his absences were due to him becoming very sick in mid-October due to complications with his lactose intolerance. Despite his nonattendance, he believes he was a hard-working senator.
“I did a lot for the Senate, I was involved,” Stilletti said. “I just had some attendance issues. Getting impeached was more of a decorum issue.”
He does, however, claim that he was in contact with members of the Senate and was letting them know when he wasn’t going to be able to attend.
“I talked to members of the Senate, but things always slip through the cracks,” he said.
But, according to Lehman, his absences were not excused.
“He clearly overbooked himself,” Lehman said. “He wasn’t making any effort to attend or to excuse himself when he couldn’t attend.”
For the time being, Stilletti plans to continue his work with the Senate as an aid.
“I’m not disappointed because I figure I can still be involved, just without the title,” he said. “I’m currently an aid for Communications and the Grievances subcommittee. There are also a lot of other leadership opportunities outside of the Senate – I know I will be able to get stuff done.”
In light of the vacancy, the Senate passed a motion on Monday during their meeting to make an offer to Tejeda, the runner-up in the Class of 2011 Senate election, to fill the spot. Tejeda accepted the offer Wednesday evening.
Jarrett is a member of the class of 2009.