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ASI Senator’s interruption sparks mascot debate

Off-agenda discussion of the mascot search committee during the Associated Students Inc. Senate meeting sparked conflict among the board, leading to a rare interruption of the vice president Wednesday.

Sen. Aaron Jordan spoke over ASI Vice President Leen Almahdi after giving an initial comment, violating the rule that senators must be recognized by the chair before speaking.

Senator Imani McDonald commented on the interruption.

“It’s essentially like a classroom, you must raise your hand,” she said.

McDonald added that it was a breach of protocol and the first time she had ever seen an interruption like Jordan’s.

During closing comments, Jordan said he felt students were not being fairly represented in the mascot search. He brought up student Jacob Ingram, who has spoken about the process at many recent ASI senate meetings.

“If you want to be transparent about something then you can’t have a senate with closed doors,” Jordan said.

He suggested that public meetings for the mascot search committee would allow students like Ingrahm to express their views.

“We’re kinda rushing it right now,” Jordan said. “I’m the type of person who really likes to take my time.”

Almahdi mentioned both she and President Genesis Jara had been in contact with Ingram, and there was an update in the previous meeting and that he would have known that if he had attended.

Jordan then interrupted Almahdi and said: “I watched the live meeting. Don’t say that.”

Almahdi replied: “Senator Jordan, don’t speak over me.”

Jara, who was in attendance, approached the podium to comment on Ingram’s past interactions with the senate but first acknowledged that she believed many of Jordan’s concerns to be valid.

“The first interaction we had with [Ingram] was an email to Almahdi and myself,” she said.

Jara and Almahdi responded to Ingram and said appointments to the committee by the senate would be unfair so they decided only people elected should be making the decision.

Jara said her eventual face-to-face meeting with Ingram was tense.

“To be quite honest it was a difficult conversation,” she said. “They were basically yelling at me, in my face.”

Jara said she was able to have a civil conversation with Ingram after he calmed down.

The next ASI meeting will be Wednesday, March 20 at 3:30 p.m. in USU 234.

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