We have a new student body president now, but it should be known that Jaymie Roybal, lame duck, quietly denied undergrads a chance to vote on their student fees.
Here’s how it happened:
The ASUNM Senate voted on a bill to introduce a constitutional amendment, which students must approve by vote, that would increase ASUNM student fees from $20 to $25. The vote passed 16-1-1. That’s a super majority, and for those who may not know, a super majority is a big deal.
If the ASUNM president plans to veto a bill, she has to do it within six school days, and here’s where it gets tricky, so hang with me.
According to Elections Director Claire Mize, the deadline for the amendment to be included on Wednesday’s ballot was March 26th. The bill passed on a Wednesday night, March 7. The clock starts ticking on March 8. Roybal would have six school days to veto it, according to the constitution.
So let’s do some math. March 8 and 9 make two days. And then the whole of spring break isn’t counted as an official school day. So the clock starts back up again on March 19, which means she had to make a decision by March 22, a Thursday.
Senators have up to six days to call an emergency meeting, but they must issue a 24-hour warning, and must assemble a third of senators to call for this meeting. Assuming they found out on Friday, March 23, the bill had been vetoed, they needed to call an emergency meeting during the weekend, and then override the veto by Monday, March 26, the deadline for items to be registered on the ballot.
The ploy, politically, was perfect. Everything met legal standards, and no one could raise a complaint about the illegality of the situation. It wasn’t illegal. It was morally corrupt, but morality can’t be legislated, can it?
No senators proposed an emergency meeting. There wasn’t enough time.
So instead of letting students vote if they wanted a fee increase or not — an increase entirely dependent on the undergrad vote — Roybal denied that right.
Why? As she stated in Wednesday’s paper, in the article “Roybal vetoes ASUNM student fee increase bill,” she didn’t believe raising the ASUNM fee was in the best interest of the student body.
But I have to raise a concern that Roybal probably didn’t consider.
I believe the student body, which elected Roybal, might want a say in what’s in the best interest of the student body.
If the student body wanted fees to remain the same, they would have voted down the bill. If the student body wanted the fees increased, they would have voted for the increase. They should have gotten the chance to vote on it.
Because Roybal thought she knew what students wanted, she shut down the bill, rendering the opinions of the students — and the senators who passed the bill — worthless.
One person shut down the voices and votes of more than 20,000 undergraduate students.
Let’s summarize the Roybal regime, shall we?
Her presidency was already marred by the time of her election after students found out that she was dating then ASUNM President Laz Cardenas at the time she was running for office. Cardenas fired his chief of staff, Michael Thorning, after he discovered Thorning was running for president against Roybal, because he put his “trust in (Thorning), and there was no trust returned back.”
Roybal stated she wanted to keep tuition low, but proposed and pushed for costly programs such as the new recreation center and the bike share program.
She didn’t have an opinion on the pressing issue of using of student fees to pay off old University debts. And now we have this blatant attack on students’ right to vote.
Caroline Muraida, please ensure you never disrespect your constituents in the same way Roybal has.
Daily Lobo editor-in-chief