ASU Senator impeached for violating Tempe USG guidelines

Tempe Undergraduate Student Government Sen. Daniel Martin (left, gesturing) speaks during a floor debate on the impeachment of Sen. Isabelle Murray, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Sen. Murray was impeached for breaking guidelines on speaking to media and for communication issues. (Photo by Ben Moffat) Tempe Undergraduate Student Government Sen. Daniel Martin (left, gesturing) speaks during a floor debate on the impeachment of Sen. Isabelle Murray, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Sen. Murray was impeached for breaking guidelines on speaking to media and for communication issues. (Photo by Ben Moffat)

UPDATE: Former Tempe USG Senator Jack Tyo resigned from his position Wednesday after turning in a letter of resignation to Senate President Will Smith.

Tempe USG President Cassidy Possehl said Tyo decided to step down from the position, but did not provide details as to why.

The resignation leaves three senate seats open after last night's impeachment of Isabelle Murray. CLAS College Council now has two weeks to fill the two open positions, and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering will be filling the third seat in the next week.

 

Isabelle Murray, former senator in Tempe Undergraduate Student Government, was impeached Tuesday after a three-fourths majority of senators agreed that she had violated guidelines for speaking with the media.

The grounds of impeachment were for sharing information with The State Press without going through proper channels, such as letting the senate president or the USG president know about the issue, beforehand.

She was also impeached for giving information on a sensitive issue involving a member of Tempe USG to media without grounds to do so.

Murray had been on probation because of failing to communicate within Tempe USG prior to the violations, which brought up the motion for impeachment.

Murray apologized to the senate for not going through proper channels before talking to The State Press about a bill to prohibit face paint at football games after students wore paint resembling blackface to the UCLA game in September.

Senate President Will Smith said the impeachment hearing was in no way a judgment of Murray in her role as president of the Rainbow Coalition, formerly known as the LGBTQA Coalition. It was about her ability to fulfill her role as senator, he said.

All senators signed a list of guidelines for speaking with media outlets prior to the first USG meeting of the year.

Murray said she did not ask for anonymity when speaking with The State Press and that she assumed everything was off the record when speaking about the blackface bill. The State Press never indicated that this interview was off the record, and Murray said nothing about her comments not being on the record before or after the article published.

By speaking with The State Press, Murray broke the signed guidelines, other senators said.

Smith said he had asked Murray to resign but she refused.

Murray said after being impeached that she felt she was targeted.

“I think that I have a very unpopular opinion,” she said. “I am not the majority, I represent marginalized people and USG really doesn’t care about them, and I think I forced them to confront issues that they do not want to confront.”

Murray is the president of the Rainbow Coalition, which represents LGBTQA students, and co-president of the new Disabled Students Coalition.

Students at the meeting to support Murray were outraged after the vote and are planning on writing letters to ASU President Michael Crow.

Murray said she is planning on appealing the impeachment.

 

Reach the reporter at jshanco2@asu.edu @joey_hancock

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