CSUN Senate approves impeachment hearing for Vice President DeBelen

By Aron Csiki | November 27th, 2017

The CSUN senate approved an impeachment hearing for Student Body Vice President Beatrice DeBelen at last Monday’s meeting after charges were filed by Liberal Arts Sen. Samantha Bivins.

 

In the previous meeting on Nov. 6, Student Body President Christopher Roys made the surprise request that a senator file impeachment charges against DeBelen, citing “extensive problems” with the vice president. Roys did not mention DeBelen by name nor did he provide specific reasons at the time, saying that Nevada open meeting law prevented detailed discussion.

 

The charges against DeBelen were posted online before the last meeting and read aloud to the Senate by Bivins. DeBelen was charged with violating CSUN’s constitution and bylaws, specifically the sections which detail the duties of the vice president like assisting the executive branch in its functions and properly supervising directors within student government.

During public comment before the start of the meeting, several directors in CSUN and other affiliates of the student government came to speak either in favor of having an impeachment hearing or to speak on behalf of DeBelen’s integrity.

 

Former Senate President Schyler Brown, who was the center of a series of controversies throughout 2016 and also faced an impeachment hearing for campaigning in military uniform, made a surprise appearance and gave an impassioned speech supporting DeBelen, saying, “President Roys, you had no right to ask for her resignment [sic] … because she does not serve you!”

 

Bivins told the senate at the start of the meeting, “After speaking with President Roys as well as other members of the executive branch and cabinet, I felt that sufficient evidence had been provided to me verbally to support a charge of impeachment.”

 

After presenting the charges, Bivins said, “All paid, appointed and elected officials within CSUN student government need to be held accountable for the duties charged to their positions which are outlined in detail within our governing documents. When an individual fails to abide by these guidelines … we need to seek other remedies to ensure the professional nature of CSUN student government remains intact.”

 

DeBelen sat in silence on the side tables as Bivins spoke to the senators and the ballroom of about two dozen audience members.

 

As the meeting was only hearing initial charges, specific accounts of DeBelen’s misconduct could not be relayed in detail nor could DeBelen herself speak on the matter, although Bivins did point to DeBelen’s apparent failures to provide director’s reports and evaluations to the Senate. An impeachment hearing is needed in order for the petitioner (Bivins) and the defendant (DeBelen) to discuss the charges and have evidence presented.

 

Many senators who voted for the impeachment hearing did so in order to fairly hear and weigh evidence of misconduct, not necessarily because they wanted to impeach DeBelen.

 

“I do trust our president. I feel that he feels that [if action] should be taken then it may be worth proceeding, knowing that no damages can be done until the body votes one more time on the actual charges,” Business School Sen. Tori Scharadin said.

 

Several senators, including Nicole Ouro, Justin Atkins, Hannah Patenaude and Daniel Tamayo voiced their support for an impeachment hearing so as to properly weigh the situation.

 

“We are not judging the character, we are judging the work of VP DeBelen,” Division of Health Sciences Sen. Tamayo said. “We won’t be able to hear the side of VP DeBelen until we hear a case.”

 

Senate President pro tempore Adam Almosawy strongly spoke against the whole affair.

 

“Is this the most efficient method and way of using our time? If we are just spending exhaustive efforts and energy toward something that might not necessarily even impact [CSUN] for the long haul, then we’re just wasting time. And we’re not getting anything done, and we’re not [benefitting] the students.”

 

At the end, the Senate decided that an impeachment hearing for DeBelen was in fact worth the student government’s time and voted 17-5 to hold one. The hearing will take place Dec. 4 at 6:00 p.m. in Student Union room 208.


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2 comments

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  1. Ryan Sanshuck
    Ryan Sanshuck 27 November, 2017, 19:46

    How CSUN is no Different from our Government:

    As the CSUN circus goes on during the impeachment of Vice President DeBelen, it should be a good opportunity for all of us to pause and reflect; is government inherently corrupt? I am curious as to what spurned an impeachment hearing against Vice President DeBelen? What was the specifics of her dereliction of duties? How does this translate beyond UNLV to our basic framework of government today?

    When the Founding Fathers of our Constitution created America and fought against British tyranny, they wanted a Country with a weak centralized government and States having more autonomy over their own affairs. Nowadays we have a strong central government that infringes on our everyday Rights at the individual level but is also inherently corrupt.

    Sir Jon Dalberg-Acton, a Baron in 19th Century England, said the infamous quote “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. We bemoan government errors from a partisan standpoint but we want more government to control more and more aspect of our lives. Should we let the government decide what’s best for our bodies, bedrooms, and means to defend ourselves?

    As it stands, we have two corrupt political parties that control our system of governance .Both parties are always mired in scandals; whether it be nepotism, corruption, dereliction of duty, taking bribes, and now recently, sexual harassment allegations. Both Republicans and Democrats neck deep in political muck that it really destroys the People’s trust in government. The upcoming impeachment hearing for the CSUN Vice President only proves the idea that scandalous affairs even trickles down to our student government at the local University. What is on trial in this upcoming impeachment hearing is not only Vice President DeBelen’s integrity and work ethic, but the trust that students ought to have in their student government. CSUN has always been mired in scandalous affairs from time immemorial. This impeachment hearing is just another added layer of scandalous affairs in the history of CSUN.

    Reply this comment
    • Emerson J. Vangoleia
      Emerson J. Vangoleia 2 December, 2017, 17:01

      I found no additional details mentioned in your comment about the case, but a strong sense of raising another chaos.

      However, you had solid points about this matter though, but it just did not clear out the missing points in this case, but pointed out how “corrupted” our CSUN was based the impeachment, which happened because of the sloppy attitude of our ex-vice-president.

      Perhaps because of the limited time, the comment could not expand with more details, could it? Or it itself just made an attempt to criticize the CSUN with absolutely no concrete evidence.

      “This impeachment hearing” seems not to be another “layer of scandalous affairs” as far as I see though. What I see is a step of purification for the incoming chains of events.

      Or I am missing out something, ain’t I?

      Reply this comment

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