The Associated Students of UNM recently placed Sen. Michael Landgraf on probation after he acquired three demerits for not attending his designated office hours and an ASUNM Senate meeting.
ASUNM President Pro Tempore Sarah Moore said a senator will receive a demerit when they do not act in accordance or fail to fulfill their duties as outlined by the Senator Accountability Code of the ASUNM Law Book.
“After receiving a certain number of demerits, a senator is stripped of some of their rights and privileges of their position,” Moore said. “The first demerit does not result in any of the rights or privileges being revoked, the second demerit revokes speaking privileges and the third revokes voting privileges and the ability to receive a semester's stipend.”
Another demerit for Landgraf, Moore said, will put his position as an ASUNM senator in question.
Landgraf had his voting privileges revoked, as well as his speaking privileges for only one meeting, and he will not receive the senatorial stipend, Moore said.
Landgraf is not only a senator, but also the vice chair of the Steering and Rules Committee, which deliberates over non-finance-related legislation before they potentially are presented to the full Senate.
“The vice chair (leads) the meeting when I cannot,” said Sen. Noah Brooks, chair of the committee. “The only reason I have not been able to chair is when I yield my gavel to Vice Chairman Landgraf when a piece of legislation I wrote is going through Steering and Rules. This keeps any conflict of interest from occurring.”
Brooks said Landgraf was elected by his fellow committee members of the Steering and Rules committee to serve as the vice chair, as per ASUNM procedure.
Moore said the last time a senator was placed on probation was only last semester, for the same reason senator Landgraf was placed on probation — excessive tardies and absences.
Landgraf would not comment to the Daily Lobo on the absences or his probation.
Moore said, for some, taking the position of senator can be difficult. She also said that with the work Landgraf has been doing within his position, if he was fulfilling all of his responsibilities he would not have been placed on probation, but she said she hopes Landgraf will start taking his position more seriously after the discipline.
“I appreciate Sen. Landgraf's commitment as a senator. Entering into this role is a difficult transition for some. He has been very responsive and proactive in addressing the needs of his assigned student organizations,” Moore said. “That being said, if Senator Landgraf was truly fulfilling the whole of his senatorial duties, then he would not have received demerits. However, following our conversations regarding these demerits, I trust that Senator Landgraf will be more mindful in completing his obligations.”
Denicia Aragon is a news reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com on Twitter @deniciaaragon98.