The controversy-plagued DASB Senate heard confessions of wrongdoing and impassioned comments at a 3½ hour meeting Wednesday and voted down motions to have three senators removed with only two weeks to go in their terms.
DASB president Pablo Zamorano admitted to “making out” and having unopened alcohol in senate office, two of the allegations listed in an April 24 letter distributed by senator Daniel Kim.
Senators rejected motions to remove Kim and senators Tatyana Grinenko and Ryan Royster, who both admitted to
Kim was accused in a motion for removal of violating DASB Senate bylaws and the DASB Code of Conduct.
Kim defended his action as an expression of his rights of free speech as a student.
“One reason I did this was to expose the hypocrisy of the senate for transparency,”
Zamorano said Kim had malicious intent to not only have Zamorano removed but also to bring down the senate as a whole. He said Kim had taken joking conversations seriously.
Zamorano displayed on an overhead projector inappropriate comments about LEAD member Shani Haven that he had posted on Facebook, but revealed Kim’s active participation in
Haven, who was at the meeting, asked Zamorano to take the post down because it was making her uncomfortable.
Grinenko and Royster were accused in motions for removal of violating the De Anza/Foothill Student Code of Conduct and policy guidelines along with California State Law when they stole more than 25 copies of the April 29 issue of La Voz Weekly reporting the original allegations, and placed them in senate office lockers.
Grinenko said La Voz had sensationalized the allegations, and that she wanted to hide the story from the student
Grinenko said she had taken responsibility for her actions by apologizing to La Voz’s business manager Michael Mannina, and by the end of the day senators had returned all the newspapers. She questioned whether she had actually caused harm to the campus.
After the meeting Mannina disagreed with Grinenko’s account.
“At no time during our meeting was she apologetic for her actions in regards to theft of the newspapers,” he said, adding that the senate members waited late in the day to return the newspapers and then appeared to not return all the stolen copies.
Royster, who is running for senate re-election with the United coalition, apologized to both the senate and to La Voz for his actions and said they were based strictly on instinct.
Some senators expressed concern with not removing Grinenko and Royster after they broke California Law. Others said their good work for the senate outweighed their actions.
Student trustee-elect Anita Adams said senators need to be held accountable for breaking California State Law.
“We’ve already internally recognized the fact these things do break code,” said Andrew Zhou, the senate’s legislative affairs officer. “The degree to which these allegations were made, our senate and our student body as a whole lose faith in our president and our leadership, and falsely so.”
Koosha Seyvani, candidate for executive vice president with the Revolution coalition, noted that the senate had spent over an hour debating Kim’s removal, but only 45 minutes on Grinenko and Royster combined.
“If you are the same people who just judged Ryan and Tatyana, it might be representative to actually judge Dan with the very standard and the very same filter,” he said.
A college investigation of the allegations and the newspaper theft is ongoing.