A pattern has formed.
When the members of the AUSG executive board decide they don’t like how a member of AUSG is doing their job, they find a way to remove that person from their position.
It happened with Former Secretary Faith Rokowski, and it has happened again with Former Undergraduate Senate Speaker Dante Bucci.
According to Facebook messages between Former Speaker Bucci and Senator Delancey Lane, they believed members of the executive board were going to try to convince members of the Undergraduate Senate to remove Former Speaker Bucci from office during the last meeting of the 11th Undergraduate Senate. Other members of the Undergraduate Senate have also stated their suspicions that members of the executive board were involved in the rumors of removing Former Speaker Bucci.
In these messages, Former Speaker Bucci said, “This might have soured me to running again.” He was referring to running for speaker of the new session of the Undergraduate Senate.
Former Speaker Bucci ended up choosing not to run again, and the race ended with Noah Wills as the new Speaker.
But this is not about the new speaker. This is about yet another dedicated member of student government feeling like they had no option other than to leave their position to avoid persecution from the executive board.
During the elections for the new Undergraduate Senate, a Judicial Board case was filed against Former Speaker Bucci. In the messages, Senator Lane mentions that she was “threatened” by members of the executive board to submit that case against Former Speaker Bucci, and that they would submit it with or without her.
Senator Lane also said in her messages that she believed the executive board were “under the impression [Former Speaker Bucci] pushed for an impeachment.” This is in reference to the previously reported on report from the Committee on Oversight and Accountability that could have led to the impeachment of a member of the executive board.
This belief was likely due to the fact that Former Speaker Bucci and Former Secretary Rokowski are dating, but according to Senator Haley Lickstein, “Dante did a remarkable job at staying impartial in a situation that had very personal aspects to it. There was no point in time while he was leading the Senate that he indicated a position [or] a bias about the situation.” Former Speaker Bucci said he “tried to keep things from blowing up when it looked like an impeachment was coming.”
The point of having elections for a speaker and allowing the possibility of a vote of no confidence is to let the Senate decide who they want to lead them. The members of the Senate were elected, and they have the right to elect the person in charge of them. Although student government at American University doesn’t have hard lines between the three branches of government, there is an understanding that the Senate has freedom over their right to choose a speaker.
If Dante Bucci felt like he was being targeted by members of the executive board (and it’s likely he did), and that is why he chose not to run for speaker, then this is yet another example of members of the executive board overstepping their positions.
This article is a follow up to “AUSG Senate accepts COA Report and Former Secretary testifies.”
This article is also a follow up to “AUSG Undergraduate Senate releases report on Secretary resignation and application process,” “Audio of AUSG Interim Secretary on process to nominate permanent secretary,” “AUSG Senate opens investigation into Secretary resignation and nomination,” “Email shows Rokowski’s Commitment to AUSG,” “Judicial Board rules on inquiry concerning AUSG President,”“Judicial Board inquires into AUSG President” and “BREAKING: AU STUDENT GOVERNMENT SECRETARY RESIGNS.”
Shira Stein founded The Bottom Line to uncover the truth where other American University news organizations have not.