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ASI mulls, delays removing elections chair

By Connie Lee, Mar. 1, 2022

During the third ASI Board of Directors meeting of the spring semester on Feb. 24, ASI President Prabhat Jammalamadaka recommended to the board that it remove ASI Elections Chair Samuel Woulfe. With an 8-2 vote, however, the board decided to table an ultimate decision until the next board meeting on March 3.

Jammalamadaka outlined Woulfe’s reasons for removal in a memorandum to the board, where Jammalamadaka shared that he asked Woulfe to resign on Feb. 14. The memorandum alleges that Woulfe was at times uncommunicative via email and unprepared for tasks involving the upcoming ASI 2022 Election.

“I refuse to resign. I will fight for this position as the ASI Elections Chair,” said Woulfe during the meeting. “I’ll admit that I have made mistakes, and I have not always done things that you wanted me to, but I learned from those mistakes. I grew from them, and I continue to work to improve.”

During the process of appointing the elections chair position, Jammalamadaka said that he appointed Woulfe because he was very passionate with his future aspirations. Every student government leader must complete their orientation when they are appointed to the position along with transition folders from the previous appointed member.

Jammalamadaka stated that throughout the fall semester he grants student leaders multiple chances to propose questions via email, phone and one-on-one meetings.

According to Jammalamadaka, on Jan. 28, Woulfe failed to consign the agenda for the election committee meeting which resulted in its cancellation. With ASI elections coming up, Woulfe did not ask any questions regarding the ASI elections or his position despite multiple opportunities, according to the letter. Jammalamadaka determined that it was a proper course of action to proceed with removal.

The reasons Jammalamadaka listed on his letter for asking Woulfe to resign included: not knowing who the election advisor is, not responding to email within the 24 hours, attending multiple training sessions and meetings with his ASI and university advisor and still not knowing key information on how to run elections, not knowing ASI 2022 Election events, missing office hours and canceling committee meeting due to lack of preparedness.

Although the discussion was postponed to the next meeting, ASI Cabinet and Board of Director members were allowed to ask questions and comment on Woulfe’s removal.

“I just wanted to know why we are opting to remove Samuel instead of bringing it to everybody’s attention that obviously something is not happening or not going right or up to standards for us to be able to fix it?” asked ASI Greek Council Senator-At-Large Hannah Potter. “Being a first-time student leader, I don’t know what I’m doing half the time and I don’t ask for help, so maybe that’s something Samuel is struggling with. But if it is, I don’t know why we aren’t trying to help him in that aspect and maybe teach him how to do that instead of removing him from his position.”

Following the meeting, Jammalamadaka said he appreciated the board’s discussion.

“The reaction is that we want there to be a proper due process, so we are happy with how the process went where we gave a chance for both parties to speak,” said Jammalamadaka. “We just want to make sure that every student knows that we are trying to keep all of our leaders accountable and everything to be transparent.”

According to Jammalamadaka, the removal of the election chair will not affect the upcoming election, since the committee and staff have already been working diligently in conjunction with the election chair position on hold.

ASI Bylaws require specific guidelines when removing a member from the ASI cabinet or executive board.

“The ASI Board of Directors may remove any member of the ASI Cabinet or ASI Executive Board for due causes with a majority vote and the ASI president’s written recommendation,” said ASI Attorney General Mia Miller. “Without the ASI president’s written recommendation, removal is by two-thirds vote of the ASI Board of Directors.”

The ASI president’s memo, meeting agendas and minutes can be found on ASI’s website. The next ASI Board of Directors Meeting will be held March 3.

Feature image by Nicolas Hernandez

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