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.