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Former USGW president said he was threatened with impeachment

During his presidency, Alexander Sojourney attempted to add a new media position and website but was met with challenges

Alexander Sojourney

Alexander Sojourney, President of the USGW Student Body Affair and then-ASU junior, poses for a photo on the West campus in Glendale, Arizona, on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019.

The Undergraduate Student Government West president for the 2018-2019 school year, Alexander Sojourney, said that after attempting to add a new position under the president department, he was "swiftly threatened" with impeachment by former senate president and recent ASU graduate, Natasha Snider. 

Sojourney, a senior studying political science, got involved with USGW because of his passion for advocacy and being a conduct of change. He said that he was involved with politics in his middle school and high school years and wanted to continue. 

As USGW has yet to update its website with information on the current senate board, Sojourney gave his thoughts and previous reasoning to clarify why this could be.

READ MORE: It has been a year since USGW has updated some of their platforms

In an email statement, he said the website was something USGW fought for last year and was even attempting to add a new position that focused on social media outreach and digital media. 

Sojourney said this was something he tried to get passed several times, but to no avail. 

"Last year’s senate president was also the student body president before and deemed this position 'not important' enough to warrant such implementation," Sojourney said. "After attempting to go through a third party and get a website design made for USGW, I was threatened with impeachment."

In a later phone conversation, he walked through the process of what led to the situation. Sojourney provided a document of the proposal that he tried to get passed. 

He believed that a website was needed to provide students with a place to get up to date USGW information. He began working with another student who graduated last year, and they began to create a website for this proposal. 

Sojourney said after this came to Snider's attention, she used it as "leverage" because Sojourney did not go through the senators and the proper staff to commission the website or position and was told that he would not able to use outside assistance.

Sojourney said the creation of this position and an updated website was something he pushed for very hard last year, and he was left disappointed when it did not seem as important to others.

"On the outside looking in, it looks like we don't care, honestly," Sojourney said. "Unfortunately, student government is like politics at times — there is an agenda. It doesn't matter how hard an initiative can be pushed once people don't have the same state of mind."

Snider, who also was the student body president prior to last year, provided some of the meeting minutes from 2018-2019. 

She pointed out the first mention of the director of social media outreach in the meeting minutes dated Sept. 14, 2018.

"This was when (USGW President) Sojourney told me to put it on the senate agenda for a vote because he already had a student and they were nearing the finalization of the website," Snider wrote in an email statement. "I informed him that this kind of vote cannot go straight to senate for the bylaws do not allow changes without first going through Government Operations."

She wrote that they were voting that Friday on what the director position was going to be and that there had yet to be consideration for a public relations director. 

In the meeting minutes under the date Feb. 4, 2019, agenda item IX says, "All passwords and such will be shared with the EBoard so all will have access to edit the site." 

Snider said the password was not shared until early April, which can be found in the meeting minutes from April 8, 2019, under agenda item IX.

Snider said that Sojourney had mentioned he was going to decide how much to pay the student who had designed the website, which was shown to them and then remained unchanged.

Snider said this worried her, so she asked Sojourney for an Executive Board vote on the amount the student would be paid before moving forward.

Snider said the vote was not mentioned to the Executive Board, and eventually it was discovered the money had been transferred out of the account.

Impeachment was then brought to Snider's attention by other senators before spring break in 2019, after finding out the student had been paid and the payment was never discussed with USGW as a whole.

In a senate meeting around the same time, Snider said, Sojourney left to go to Jamba Juice and returned with a loud group of friends, upsetting a majority of the senators. "I went up to him after this meeting and told him his behavior was rude and to be careful because talk of impeachment had been present amongst the senators."

In regards to the claims that the website was not important enough to work on, Snider said she offered to help work on the website. 

In Agenda Item VIII from the meeting minutes from Feb. 18, 2019, it states "Senate President Snider has experience with Wix and basic coding and would be happy to finish the website."

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