Senate discusses removal of senator

The Undergraduate Student Government Senate discussed a formal complaint filed against Sen. Jacob Ellenhorn by Program Board Executive Director Diana Jimenez at Tuesday’s Senate meeting. The complaint, which called for Ellenhorn’s removal and was filed Monday, alleged that Ellenhorn undermined the work done by the Program Board, misused his title as senator and did not uphold his duties by breaching several USG bylaws.

Jimenez claimed that Ellenhorn promoted a hostile environment by inviting conservative political writer Milo Yiannopoulos to an event hosted by the College Republicans, a group for which Ellenhorn acts as president. Another alleged violation was Ellenhorn’s failure to follow procedures while filming a Program Board event.

Ellenhorn released his own statement online and to several media outlets Monday, refuting the claims. Ellenhorn defended his actions and argued that Jimenez’ complaints were an attack on his conservative political beliefs.

“Taking issue with these speakers shows Jimenez’s [sic] lack of interest in diversity of thought, and her propensity for silencing the opposition,” Ellenhorn said in the statement. “Jimenez is clearly jealous of the fact that the events I put on as President of the College Republicans received far more attention than any of hers.”

During the discussion portion of the Senate meeting, Jimenez brought up her complaint against Ellenhorn. She noted that she and the senator had not yet spoken privately on the matter, but she had received a copy of his statement from fellow Sen. Alec White.

“I haven’t got a chance to talk directly to you, Jacob, and if you want to address any of the concerns,” Jimenez said. “I was forwarded your statement from Alec, but I haven’t got to sit down with you and hear your concerns.”

Ellenhorn told the Senate that he will refuse to meet with USG members privately at this point, based on advice from private legal counsel. Ellenhorn disagreed with the premise of Jimenez’ allegations in the complaint.

“They’re all ridiculous, they’re unfounded, and you rooted them in the fact that you disagree with my political philosophy and with all of the activities that I do outside of USG,” Ellenhorn said. “I find your witch hunt against me to be politically motivated and completely unfounded, and I look forward to our hearing on [March 23], in which the Senate will not impeach me and in which your complaint will be thrown out where it belongs.”

Jimenez responded that all of her allegations were based on bylaws that USG members are expected to follow. In her formal complaint, Jimenez outlines the specific regulations that she believes Ellenhorn violated.

“Most of my points were based on the fact that you actually haven’t completed your role as a senator,” Jimenez said. “I want to make sure that we are fulfilling our duties as people who are held accountable to this University.”

Sen. Giuseppe Robalino disagreed with an allegation made in Jimenez’ complaint, which stated that Ellenhorn failed to refer students who had concerns appropriately. Robalino said that the bylaws were in fact not violated as the complaint alleged and that Ellenhorn had fulfilled his duty as a Senator.

“By taking the step to having met with the individuals or just having brought it up, and saying, ‘I will be the Senator to follow up,’ he referred [the students],” Robalino said, “So how do you stand on the basis that he violated that bylaw?”

Jimenez argued that Ellenhorn did not sufficiently follow through on his commitment to address those students’ concerns.

“It’s not explicit in this bylaw, but it’s explicit in your role as a senator,” Jimenez said.

After the end of the 15-minute discussion period, the meeting was adjourned. The issue will be discussed further and put to a vote by the Senate on March 23.

12 replies
  1. Dana
    Dana says:

    In a just world, Miss Jimenez will one day be working for Mr Ellenhorn. Given that he is a conservative, and she a liberal, that is a far more probable outcome than the reverse.

  2. Dana
    Dana says:

    The most amusing part is that Miss Jimenez’ complaint simply brings more attention to Mr Ellenhorn’s views and the College Republicans organization; was this what she intended to achieve?

    “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are
    shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” — Wm F Buckley, Jr

  3. Johnny Chagdes
    Johnny Chagdes says:

    I am a proud Trojan Alumni (’83 BSME & ’91 MSSM) … USC taught me to listen to others, to learn from others, to stand up for my principles, and to use my own personal experiences, along with my great education to make myself and the communities I touched a better place to live in. I am saddened to see that there are portions of the current Trojan Campus (both student and faculty; the Student Senate and Stephen Smith, an adjunct professor and executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation) who are shunning their duties to have personal respect for students’ views that oppose theirs.

    I expect that Ms. Jimenez will gain from this experience and will be more acceptable of her fellow Senators views after the backlash from this grows. Mr. Stephen Smith is old enough to know better … the USC I attended cared about my thoughts and my visions and has made me the person I am today … perhaps his position as “adjunct” should be reevaluated.

    USC has by far the most demographic student population in the most demographic and diverse city in all of the US … perhaps its citizenship and associated members should take light of this fact and think about the negative repercussions that follow when some of its Student Senate & faculty don’t exude acceptance and would rather spout discrimination and cry that USC is a hostile environment.

    Dear President Max Nikias … please get this out of the public spotlight … this type of news is not comforting to an established Trojan alumni base and looks bad on the respect that USC has garnered over the years.

  4. cringram
    cringram says:

    Based on this and other more detailed reports, it appears Miss Jimenez has completely failed to understand what it means to be a Trojan. Fear nothing, welcome adversity and use your learned tools to build a better society, alas it appears she has only studied victiimology. I was unaware it became an official course offering.

    Grow up Miss Jimenez, you’re in the process of joining the big boys and girls. It’s time to start acting like one.

  5. Sean Poindexter
    Sean Poindexter says:

    Wow. It looks like USC has been hit by a blizzard with all the snowflakes raising a stink about this Conservative Senator. Here’s a reality check members of the Konfused Kids Klub. Speech is protected, including hate speech. It’s always amusing to see Liberal minded students studying a private colleges offended by the fact that the 1st Amendment is even allowed to exist.

  6. Cele Hoffman Eifert
    Cele Hoffman Eifert says:

    YGBSM!!!!! This is so typical of liberals who cannot stomach anyone who disagrees with them. Drop your complaint Jimenez and grow up. YOU and your ilk are the bigots now!

  7. Concerned Student
    Concerned Student says:

    Jimenez may not agree with Ellenhorn’s statements or the occasionally brash way in which he responds to criticism, but that isn’t enough to constitute Ellenhorn’s impeachment and/or removal from office. USG should not be a place of singular thought but instead an arena for intense discussion and contrasting of opinions.

  8. Proud Trojan
    Proud Trojan says:

    If we let such bigotry and close mindedness invade our campus, we will have nothing to set us apart from the hell that is the UC system, where there is one school of thought that everyone must abide by, and anyone who doesn’t agree is strong-armed and bullied out. Shame on Jimenez.

  9. The Gnome
    The Gnome says:

    This is pathetic. Jimenez should be dismissed for this hypocritical action. And people wonder why the likes of Trump are rising in popularity – enough is enough you special snowflake weak students trying to remove our 1st amendment rights. Grow up.

    • Sean Poindexter
      Sean Poindexter says:

      The sound I like to hear is someone getting a lot of wood on the ball. Excellent comment.

  10. JendaStenda
    JendaStenda says:

    What a sad day to think that we live in the world described by Orwell! Jimenez should be ashamed of such transparent policing of thought and the crime is so much more at a supposed institution of advanced learning that precious resources and capital are being expended in a hearing.

    I am embarrassed to read this at my alma matar, absolutely embarrassed.

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