GA speaker pro tempore survives vote
The General Assembly voted not to rescind the election of Speaker Pro Tempore Ben Wetmore by a one-vote margin Friday night. The controversial vote was due to statements made on a Yahoo! Club Web site for the Programmatic Review Committee founded by Wetmore.
"When I found out about the Yahoo! Web site that was posted by these persons, not only were these persons embarrassed, I was embarrassed, my office was embarrassed, this Assembly was embarrassed, this Student Confederation was embarrassed and this University was embarrassed. The very idea such destructive and insulting remarks could be posted on such a public forum is a disgrace to those members, to me and to this body," GA Speaker Kevin Malecek said during his prepared remarks.
The Web site contained several vulgar and offensive remarks about Student Confederation executives, Malecek said.
Following contentious debate, the motion to rescind the election of the speaker Pro Tempore failed with nine representatives voting for the Speaker's removal, five voting against such removal, and two voting present. The motion needed a two-thirds majority to pass, according to GA Parliamentarian Chris Jacobs, and therefore, Wetmore retained his seat.
"If he has any honor and dignity left, he will resign," Malecek said following the vote. "I hope he will heed this [majority] vote and leave."
Other students spoke on Wetmore's behalf.
"Do I think it's been made too big of a deal in this assembly? Absolutely," Programmatic Review Chair Timothy Dodd said.
"Why give the man a gift by kicking him out?" School of Public Affairs Representative Ben Forstag said. "Make him stay."
Wetmore did not attend the GA meeting out of deference to the difficult votes representatives would need to make, he said in a letter.