BREAKING NEWS: Removed ASG Senator Reinstated


Photo by: Paul Schlesinger

ASG Senator James Demaree listens to other members of ASG discuss his removal from office during its meeting in the senate chambers on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012.

Story By: Troy Pope, Production Manager

Former Associated Student Government Senator James Demaree was reinstated to his position in the organization today.

“Going after the issue and not the person is one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned,” said Demaree.

Demaree was removed by his peers after he made controversial statements on his YouTube account which were critical of ASG’s president and other members of its executive board.

The president and legislative vice president, who Demaree targeted his political attacks on, have since resigned for other reasons.

Many have said that the removal was a violation of Demaree’s First Amendment rights.

FIRE, a free speech organization dedicated to higher education commented on the Demaree situation, “…coming to you from Fresno City College, where student senators in the Associated Student Government (ASG) apparently impeached fellow student senator James Demaree for criticizing some of his colleagues in student government in a YouTube video.”

At the time, Demaree said there were many people discouraging him from expressing his feelings on YouTube, but that has changed.

“Some people have encouraged me to keep doing it,” Demaree said regarding his YouTube videos.

The decision was made by the Constitutional Appeals Committee which consisted of five members.

Although the determination of the committee is confidential, the Rampage has learned that the decision to reinstate Demaree was unanimous, and that they felt that the ASG did not meet requirements of a fair and impartial hearing.

Demaree said he will be at an executive board meeting this Tuesday to work out his reintegration in ASG, but will be unable to attend ASG’s weekly 3 p.m. meeting that day.  He said he hadn’t planned his schedule to be free at the time of the meeting, and he has a “volunteer engagement at the Boys and Girls club, and it wouldn’t be fair to restructure that.”

Tuesday’s meeting will be the final ASG meeting of the semester.

Demaree commented on the recent shakeup within ASG, and hopes he’ll be able to work well with the new executive board.

ASG President Monique Reyna said, “We are going to welcome him back… He’s expected to be treated like any other senator.”  She continued, “I don’t see it as a problem, when you take all the things that’s been put in the papers and all that aside, he’s done other things as far as advocating for students, and that’s what we’re here to do.  I don’t have a problem with him coming back, I just hope everything is a lesson learned, and just forget about it and move forward and get our work done.”