ASLMU Senator Resigns “With Great Pleasure”

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Photo: Gabriella Jeakle

ASLMU Senator Resigns “With Great Pleasure”

By Danica Creahan, Raven Yamamoto

In a letter to the ASLMU Senate, Diversity and Inclusion Senator Stephanie Martinez officially resigned from her position on Sunday “with great pleasure and elation,” bringing an end to the saga of the first-ever impeachment proceedings to take place against a sitting ASLMU senator. 

In October, the Senate voted to impeach Martinez after a complaint was brought against her regarding anti-immigrant tweets she had made that were believed to “severely damage the integrity or authority of ASLMU,” after she was elected on an apparently pro-immigrant platform. The event prompted political discourse about the ethics of her impeachment among students and media outlets alike. A pro-immigration nonprofit came forward to oust Martinez from their spaces. In November, the Judicial Board overturned her impeachment, levying sanctions against her that were later invalidated due to an interpretation of ASLMU’s Bylaws.

In the now-former senator’s letter, which was read aloud during ASLMU’s weekly meeting on Dec. 6, Martinez explained the reasoning behind her resignation, namely that she has obtained “a prestigious position for a nationwide organization,” and that she would be working with “notable people.” 

“I’ll be working with the RNC,” Martinez told Agency, referring to the Republican National Committee. Back in November, however, Martinez told The College Fix that her new position was, “a vice-chair seat in the Republican National Hispanic Assembly for all of LA County.”

“Considering how invested AGENCY is in my life, that’s enough information I’ll give [sic]. I would also like to thank AGENCY for enabling me to become more vocal ever since their failed attempt in trying to ‘cancel’ me.”

In her letter, Martinez also acknowledged forces she felt had been working against her throughout this semester, including fellow Diversity and Inclusion Senator Camille Orozco and the student government as a whole.

“I give credit to Camille for listening to the students at LMU in regards to my seat. ‘A’ for effort, your attempt to remove me was unsuccessful,” the former senator wrote.

Sen. Orozco, who originally brought the impeachment complaint against Martinez in October, told Agency that she felt relieved upon learning of Martinez’ resignation.

“I understand that she had been given a position to represent Conservative Latinos, and I wish her the best of luck with her work for that organization. Moving forward, I am excited for ASLMU to repair our relationship with student groups who have been marginalized by Senator Martinez’ position on Senate,” Orozco stated. 

Speaker of the Senate Kyle Saavedra, who read Martinez’ letter aloud to the Senate on Sunday, feels that the email accompanying her letter was immaturely worded and called into question why Martinez had waited so long to resign. 

“The letter of resignation is just a clear attempt to ruffle feathers on her way out, which in reality, just made her look like a hateful person that never respected the office she held, to begin with,” said Saavedra. “I am more than happy that she is off of ASLMU and that we can now fill the Senator for Diversity & Inclusion position with somebody who actually respects that position and cares about initiatives geared towards advocacy and education.”

Read Agency’s full transcription of Martinez’ resignation letter, read publicly by Speaker Saavedra at the Dec. 6 ASLMU Senate meeting: 

When asked for comment, ASLMU Attorney General Leslie Sepulveda said she is“looking forward to the position being filled by someone who recognizes and works for the needs of historically disenfranchised communities,” and that she will happily meet with candidates interested in filling Martinez’ seat. 

ASLMU President Jack Palen expressed his desire to move forward with other various initiatives and continue serving the student body.

“I’m excited to continue working with my peers in the Senate, who just passed three great resolutions,” said Palen. “We in ASLMU are beginning to look inward to see how we can make the organization better prepared for accountability when individual members fail to uphold our values.”

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