Removal procedures are moving forward for Sen. Joe Vogel, U-At-Large, on Jan. 22 where the full senate will convene to decide whether Vogel can remain on the senate.
Vogel was initially suspended on Nov. 6 after failing to attend four consecutive Student Life Committee meetings, in violation of senate bylaw 505 Section 2(b). He petitioned for reinstatement on Nov. 20, but failed to garner the votes to be reinstated. This automatically triggered the circulation of a petition to move forward to a removal procedure.
In a statement delivered via Facebook messenger, Vogel stated that he was “concerned with the motives behind this effort,” but he would be willing to rise above it in favor of working on the “truly important efforts” that must be accomplished.
“Advocating for students and bettering this community remain my priority, and I look forward to continuing to champion efforts to make this university better for all students,” Vogel said.
Sen. Imani Ross, U-At-Large, chairperson for the Student Life Committee, stated she was unaware of any motives surrounding his removal other than his violation of their attendance policy.
“He wouldn’t be in this situation if he had simply attended meetings,” Ross stated.
Vogel missed meetings due to his involvement in the Northam Campaign. He claimed in the Nov. 20 meeting that he was unaware of how much of a time commitment the campaign would become. However, Ross said that Vogel never talked to her about how little time he had.
“I understand that we are all busy,” Ross said. “I think it’s important that he said that this was something he was doing that was really important, not just something he was doing on the side.”
Ross said that situations often arise around scheduling difficulties, and that in some cases meeting times have been completely changed to accommodate rough schedules, a consideration that could’ve been made for Vogel had he made her more aware.
This removal hearing comes after the triumph of being able to fill every senate seat last fall, a move that Executive Vice President Sydney Nelson said is contributing to the desire to hold senators to their obligations.
“There is a sentiment in the Senate that committee meetings are important,” Nelson said of the procedures. “Senators need to fulfill the obligations they were elected for.”
The hearing will occur Jan. 22 in the Marvin Center, and will be closed to the public.