Actions questioned at meeting

By Maureen Morrissey

The Student Association senate discussed the removal of SA President Huda Scheidelman for more than two hours Sunday but never voted on the issue.

Sen. James Mertes motioned for Scheidelman’s removal at Sunday’s meeting. After the senate discussed the issue, he withdrew his motion, claiming Scheidelman has changed within the last two weeks.

Scheidelman was “reluctant to admit her mistakes two weeks ago,” but “I saw a change tonight,” Mertes said. “It is evident she is now willing to cooperate,” he said.

Sen. Jordan Kagan said the impeachment and withdrawl of the motion hurt the SA’s credibility. “She (Scheidelman) has always said she has an open mind and she has one now.”

Mertes said the withdrawl “was not premeditated.”

Sen. Jeff Stark, who said he would not have voted to remove Scheidelman, said “what happened tonight was fantastic. Making her sweat it out made her really think.”

The decision to withdraw the motion came after an informal meeting Sunday with Scheidelman, Mertes and Sen. Galvin Kennedy, Mertes said.

Mertes and Kennedy gave Schiedelman an impeachment petition Feb. 2.

When talking to Scheidelman Sunday, Mertes and Kennedy asked Scheidelman if she admitted she made some mistakes, and she replied yes, Mertes said.

Presenting reasons for impeachment at the meeting, Mertes and Kennedy cited the petition and other complaints. “The central theme of the charges against President Scheidelman is the violation of the separation of powers,” Mertes said.

According to the petition, the SA Executive Board gave permission Dec. 16 to the Black Student Union to charge an admission fee for Louis Farrakhan’s Jan. 30 NIU lecture.

The SA Supreme Court declared this act unconstitutional. The senate then voted on the admission fee for the lecture at an emergency meeting Jan. 21.

Mertes said the senate had “its back against the wall.” The senate had to grant the BSU permission to charge admission or face breech of contract, he said.

Mertes also presented criticisms of Scheidelman’s performance in office. “She has created an image of incompetence in both state and local arenas.”

In addtion, Scheidelman’s lack of attendance at the President’s Fee Study Committee meetings is not acceptable, he said.

“She has not provided students with an effective form of government,” Mertes said, noting her actions do not “square” with the president’s job description according to the SA constitution.

“When one examines her performance in office, the word smooth does not come to mind,” he said.

“Public reception has never questioned the smooth operation of the senate,” Scheidelman said.

“It was not the intent of the executive board to act against the constitution,” when the board made the decision to allow the BSU to charge an admission fee, she said. “We had no idea the act was out of our boundries.”

Scheidelman said the reason she missed the fee study committee meetings was because of a class schedule conflict, but said she plans to attend the next one.

Sen. Tanya Smith spoke on behalf of Scheidelman saying the image Scheidelman presents on campus for the SA is positive, adding, “I resent that I have to defend the president of the Student Association.”