Bryan Ruiz impeachment

[UPDATED: An earlier version of this post mistakenly referred to senior Bryan Ruiz as a management major, not a marketing major. It has been updated accordingly.]

ASLMU Senate has accepted an impeachment complaint against ASLMU president and senior marketing major Bryan Ruiz submitted by Greek Council president and junior entrepreneurship major Lauren Coons on behalf of the Greek community. The Senate will move forward with a formal impeachment hearing next week.

During the regularly scheduled weekly Senate meeting, more than 100 students filled The Hill on the fourth floor of Malone Student Center to listen as Coons read the complaint. Coons detailed the multiple reasons why the Greek community felt Ruiz had violated his position, broken up into three separate grounds for impeachment.

The crux of the complaint concerned Ruiz’s attendance at an alleged Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) recruitment event held on campus. SAE is an unrecognized fraternity based off campus, as first reported in the Nov. 12 Loyolan article “Unofficial fraternity colonizes off campus.” Ruiz’s presidency of the organization became a point of contention last fall, though no action was taken beyond a Senate meeting discussion.

According to the complaint, an anonymous statement from a new member of one of LMU’s registered fraternities claimed that those participating in recruitment for SAE were taken to a Foley Annex classroom for an alumni night – and that Ruiz was in attendance. During that meeting, according to Coons’ statement, Ruiz was expected to be at the First Amendment Week (FAW) keynote speech, an event co-sponsored by the Loyolan and ASLMU.

“I think when I heard it, I couldn’t believe it,” said Greek Adviser and Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Development (SLD) Dan Faill of the allegations. “Because that’s blatantly violating University policies.”

ASLMU Adviser and Assistant Director of SLD Alexandra Froehlich also mentioned the conflict in an interview with the Loyolan, saying, “I was disappointed, because that [FAW speech] is definitely an event that we all should have been supporting.”

Coons also pointed out that the funds used to co-sponsor the speaker were from Ruiz’s discretionary budget, information she said she obtained from the Feb. 6 ASLMU Senate meeting minutes. Froehlich verified this, saying, “[The money] came out of Bryan’s budget.”

The complaint accuses Ruiz of “conduct that violates the mission of ASLMU or the University,” identified in the ASLMU bylaws as grounds for impeachment. Froehlich said before the hearing that this charge could indeed be called an infraction of Ruiz’s position.

Ruiz, a member and former president of SAE, addressed the accusation preemptively in a statement about the impeachment complaint that was released on ASLMU’s Facebook page at approximately noon on Tuesday, then later taken down and reposted on Ruiz’s personal Facebook page. In the statement, Ruiz claimed that he was no longer SAE president at the time of the alumni night, saying, “The planning of the SAE event was an executive decision under the newly instilled president, [former SAE Vice President and senior accounting major] Nick Mecham.”

Though both Froehlich and Faill talked in interviews about SAE’s alleged illicit recruitment practices, including early bids, none of these issues beyond the alumni night were referenced in the complaint.

According to the ASLMU bylaws, any undergraduate student can file an impeachment complaint against a member of ASLMU. The complaint must be presented to the Senate with a list of possible witnesses, as well as a description of potential transgressions and the grounds for impeachment.

Senate must approve an impeachment complaint before it moves to the hearing stage. Despite his status as a member of SAE, Senator and sophomore accounting major Roy Dilekoglu was the first to motion to approve the complaint.

“I wasn’t surprised,” said sophomore psychology major and Speaker of the Senate Ceci Rangel-Garcia of Dilekoglu’s motion. “Because as Senate, we are here to hear any student concerns. It’s our job to hear everything, and that’s what the next meeting will be. He’s been a senator for two years, so he knows our regulations.”

The Senate motioned to commence impeachment proceedings before adjourning yesterday’s meeting. The impeachment hearing will be held during the next Senate meeting, during which the senators will hear testimony from witnesses called both by ASLMU and from a list crafted by Greek Council. As Speaker of the Senate, Rangel-Garcia will act as chair of the hearing.

“Everybody really needs to separate themselves from being really close with Bryan,” Rangel-Garcia said of any potential tension or bias between senators and Ruiz. “We just are really stressing to be as objective as possible. … We all respect each other, and we respect each others’ decisions.”

Two days before the meeting, in an interview with the Loyolan, Froehlich indicated that there were other “wheels in motion” that might’ve had an impact on the impeawchment efforts. Though she indicated that said wheels were not other impeachment or resignation efforts, she did indicate that they were “possibly” removal efforts. However, these efforts seemingly did not come to pass.

Ruiz declined to comment for this story any further beyond his statement. Mecham also declined to comment, either personally or on behalf of SAE.

For more on this story, read the Loyolan's board editorial on this issue, as well as student reactions to the newsour previous coverage and the full impeachment complaint from Greek Council. To share your thoughts, tweet us @LALoyolan or post in the comments section both here and on our Facebook page.

Additional reporting by Tilly Rudolph, staff writer.

Kevin O'Keeffe is a senior screenwriting major from Austin, Texas. In Texas, he once saw a man riding a horse on the highway and knew he had to move far away– hence attending school in Los Angeles. He loves "Revenge" and Kelly Clarkson revenge songs.

(5) comments

Bella9

I've been reading up on this and am just shocked at how catty and political the Greek community can be here at LMU. In this particular article, however, I found the name Alexandra Froehlich, and am now not at least not SURPRISED that Froehlich and Coons are the cooperative effort on this. Judging these two personally, it comes as no surprise that these two resort to slander and stirring up controversy our of nothing.
I hope to god that all those in power to keep Ruiz in his deserved position as not as vindictive and potentially remove people from the Senate who are ACTUALLY causing problems and ACTUALLY ruining the integrity of the University.
What a true shame.

Concerned Sophomore

ASLMU Senate and Greek Council should be be embarrassed. I agree with the first comment, this is clearly catch-22. It's a shame Greek Council can't get over the fact that Bryan Ruiz is a part of SAE because it makes our university look childish.

Rufus C

I attended the Los Angeles Mayoral debate and Mr. Ruiz was a participant. It ran much longer than anticipated. That "complaint" however, is not the point. I posted the following comment yesterday, in an effort to bring about some introspection before impeachment proceedings moved forward. I am not a Greek member but I am part of the LMU Community. My question today is, how do we the Student Body bring impeachment charges against this entire Senate? The following is the post:I have followed this issue since last year. I did not desire to voice an opinion, however, I can no longer not voice an opinion. As president of Student Veteran Organization, I have look to this council for the leadership to guide us in our daily operations. I must say that I am disappointed in the stance this council has taken against its elected leadership.
Diversity is defined as : the condition of having or being composed of differing elements : variety; especially : the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization . We pride ourselves on being this diverse community and yet (we), the student body, find ourselves being embattled in a procedural fight that when brought up in November 2012, by the council, took no action. All articles were in place then to take impeachment proceeding and yet you chose to do nothing. "SAE" has history throughout the country for takeovers and establishing themselves on campus, you cite, and yet, you did nothing. An off campus house was established with your knowledge and again you as a council chose to do nothing. The elected president placed what amounted to an apology and resignation on the university site, and because it was not sanction by this council, impeach him? He has shown courage in the variety and a different way of seeing two organizations completely separate of each other,but now he is now in violation of policy worthy of impeachment? His action sound like diversity to me, not just his talk,but I may be wrong. Has the off campus organization broken any laws, rules, or embarrassed the LMU community? Has he shamed this student body, I think not, again, I may be wrong? When you embraced him upon his election you knew all this and now impeach him? The shame would be, if you do impeach him; with your "yay vote,"you, (the council), do not hand in your letters of resignation for ineptitude, or just go ahead and make history and everyone resign. Stop embarrassing this community, our University, and all of the students, faculty, and President.
Again, what is the procedure for the impeachment of the entire Senate? Petition?

lmu_alumnus544

Hello. While the Loyolan has been great with its coverage thus-far, I feel the need to point out a fact that has been overlooked by the Loyolan and two people quoted in the article. One of the major points brought up against Mr. Ruiz is that he missed the First Amendment week speaker. Mr. Ruiz was not in attendance because he was attending and participating in the Los Angeles Mayoral debate which was happening on campus. That debate ran longer than the first amendment week speaker and Mr. Ruiz was unable to attend the speaker because of it.

Alumni_0516

Hi. I just started following this issue, but this is how I am reading it is.
Greek Council wants to impeach the President because he started a non-LMU recognized fraternity (SAE)?
However, SAE wants to be a formally recognized fraternity at LMU but Greek Council will not allow it?
Therefore, because Greek Council will not formally recognize SAE, Greek Council now wants to impeach the ASLMU President?
Does anybody see the catch 22 here? Seems like we need to impeach the members of Greek Council because the power is going way over their head and I think this is an abuse of their positions.

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