Sen. Max Geschwind moved to censure Sen. Meagan Lane at an Undergraduate Student Government meeting Tuesday. Geschwind alleged that Lane had not upheld officer conduct when she used “vulgarity” in a USG meeting two weeks ago during her senate update presentation.
The Senate voted against the censure 11-1, with Geschwind casting the dissenting vote.
“I believe that we need to hold each other accountable,” Geschwind said during the meeting. “A couple of points in the agreement form that we signed was that we wouldn’t tarnish the reputation of this organization that we serve publicly. That’s what I believe happened two weeks ago due to [Lane’s] use of vulgarity and poor behavior.”
At the Jan. 15 meeting, Lane delivered a routine update on her current USG activities. Similar to other senatorial updates delivered this semester, Lane began her presentation on a personal note by talking about her boyfriend and winter break.
“Quite frankly it just felt like a personal attack,” Lane told the Daily Trojan. “If I had said something offensive or done something I shouldn’t have done, then people would have remembered it, they would have known about it and it would have been dealt with. But it wasn’t.”
When asked by other senators to identify which comments he was referring to, Geschwind refused to name specific comments Lane made that prompted his motion to censure her.
“My memory has become a little fuzzy since those words were said, and I really don’t want to butcher the words accidentally,” Geschwind told the Daily Trojan after the meeting.
During the meeting, Geschwind requested the senators vote through an anonymous ballot. They unanimously rejected his request, which resulted in a transparent vote.
Geschwind’s motion to censure Lane occurred a week before the USG voting period; Lane is currently campaigning for vice president.
“It does feel very conveniently timed,” Lane said. “To bring something up that happened two weeks ago, the day after [the debate], is very suspicious … I don’t want to make any accusations about Sen. Geschwind … but in fairness to myself, it felt horrible to be up there. I was shaking [and] holding back tears.”
According to Geschwind, other USG members, who he requested remain anonymous, encouraged him to use his power as senator to call for Lane’s censure.
“Max, your language tonight is not only coded, it is racially charged,” said Sen. Michaela Murphy, who is running for USG president as Lane’s partner. “I am … beyond disappointed in your actions tonight, especially the fact that you did not say anything to Meagan before this. It’s shocking.”
Geschwind, a senior majoring in political science, is not eligible for re-election this year.
“[Regarding] Sen. Murphy’s comments — because she said my comments were racially charged — I was so saddened to hear her say that,” Geschwind told the Daily Trojan. “I shouldn’t take it to heart because I feel like we were all a little caught off guard.”
Following the end of the vote, Geschwind told the Senate he should have reconsidered his actions during the meeting.
“The way I went about it was wrong. I regret some of the things I may have said,” Geschwind said. “Going back, I may have done it differently … I should have had that conversation with her.”