[UPDATED: In a statement released on his personal blog this morning, senior marketing major Bryan Ruiz stated that the Judicial Affairs issue that removed him from his role as ASLMU president was due to sanctions received stemming from an on-campus Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) meeting. This story has been updated to reflect his statement.]
Senior marketing major and former ASLMU president Bryan Ruiz was deemed “no longer eligible” to continue as head of the student body because of a Judicial Affairs issue, multiple sources confirmed last week.
According to a statement posted on Ruiz's personal blog, the issue was related to sanctions received after a Feb. 5 SAE meeting on campus – a meeting brought to public light in junior entrepreneurship major and Greek Council President Lauren Coons' impeachment complaint against Ruiz.
A letter released Thursday evening on the ASLMU Facebook page announced that Ruiz was no longer serving in his position and would be replaced by vice president Vinnie Casiero, in accordance with the ASLMU bylaws.
Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Development (SLD) and ASLMU Adviser Alexandra Froehlich told the Loyolan on Monday that there were “possibly” removal efforts in motion internally that were unrelated to the Greek Council’s impeachment complaint. ASLMU Attorney General and senior political science major Sarah Palacios confirmed to the Loyolan that these removal efforts were the same as the Judicial Affairs issue that resulted in Ruiz’s removal from office.
However, official notification of Ruiz’s removal was not sent from the University to the ASLMU management team until Thursday afternoon, according to Director of Student Leadership and Development (SLD) Andrea Niemi. The management team – made up of Caserio, Rangel-Garcia, Palacios and junior mathematics major and ASLMU Treasurer Anna Keathley – then informed the rest of ASLMU.
“It was certainly an emotional day for ASLMU,” said Niemi of the notification. “To have notice that the person the student body had elected as president would no longer be serving as president certainly was emotional, and they had to work through all of that and figure out how they would continue working for the student body.”
Though certain members had knowledge of Ruiz’s potential ineligibility ahead of time – including Palacios and former ASLMU senator and sophomore finance major Roy Dilekoglu – nothing was finalized until Thursday, according to Niemi and Palacios.
Because Ruiz is no longer president, the Senate impeachment hearing reported in the Feb. 21 Loyolan article “ASLMU president faces impeachment hearing” will not take place.
Several sources, including Palacios, Rangel-Garcia and Keathley, stressed that both Greek Life and ASLMU had nothing to do with this removal, but that it was a University decision.
Dilekoglu, whose resignation of his position in ASLMU senate was reported by the Loyolan online on Friday (“ASLMU Senator Dilekoglu resigns”), characterized the University’s treatment of Ruiz as similar to that of a criminal.
“At LMU, where they feed you these pillars of this ‘Catholic institution,’ this ‘Catholic education,’ this ‘holistic service and education,’ ‘being men and women for others,’ but then you see all this stuff going on and you have to question, ‘Where are we?’” Dilekoglu said.
Caserio, who served as Ruiz’s vice president, assumes the presidency mere weeks before ASLMU’s next elections. In an interview with the Loyolan last Monday, Froehlich called Caserio “ready and willing” to take on the presidency.
According to the statement on ASLMU’s Facebook on Thursday, Caserio will present a vice presidential nominee for approval at next Wednesday’s weekly Senate meeting.