Associated Students Legislative Council discussed the possibility of removing the A.S. Committees Coordinator at their meeting Wednesday night, but ended up voting down the proposal.
A.S. Executive Officers collectively wrote a letter accusing Committees Coordinator Lance Tackett of failing to fulfill his duties and presented it to Leg Council members at the meeting.
The duties Tackett allegedly neglected include keeping an up-to-date database of student applicants to A.S. boards and committees, keeping student applications to these boards in order, facilitating meetings with the Committee On Committees as its chair and providing a list of Committee On Committees appointment recommendations to the president and internal vice president. Tackett is also accused of failing to inform appointees of their appointments or provide Committee Chairs with lists of approved members.
The letter, which President Cervin Morris read to council members, stated that in the executive officers’ opinion, Tackett was overextending himself.
“Lance is a very busy person,” the letter stated. “He is Student Lobby Chair, a Blockbuster employee, an A.S. Front Desk employee, a teacher of a class, as well as a full-time student. All of these activities are very time consuming and are adversely affecting his ability to fulfill the duties of the Associated Students Committees Coordinator.”
Internal VP Andrea Wells said she believed Tackett failed to contact Committee on Committees members to facilitate a meeting because he was overextending himself, and said that she took this duty upon herself.
According to what was stated in the letter, Tackett tampered with a Leg Council agenda last week by using white out to cover the names of certain students up for appointment approval to an A.S. board or committee.
Wells said this was not the first time Tackett had tampered with an agenda. She cited an incident last year in which Tackett admitted to replacing an agenda prepared by former Internal VP Denise Aceves with his own unapproved version in order to include a bill.
Finance Board Chair Bill Shiebler, Queer Student Union chair Raymond Meza, and a representative from QSU defended Tackett.
“I would like to say to everyone in this room, including the chair, that Lance is in the best interest of Associated Students because… he puts his heart out into his work,” Meza said.
Meza read a section of the A.S. legal code to council members describing the official duties of the Committees Coordinator. He said some of the duties Tackett was accused of neglecting were not his responsibilities. For example, the AS Legal Code states that maintaining a database of applications is the responsibility of the Assistant Committees Coordinator.
Tackett also defended himself and said he was unable to perform recent duties such as organizing and presiding over a Committee On Committees meeting because of an illness. According to Tackett, the illness was severe enough that he had considered withdrawing from school.
Tackett admitted to tampering with the agenda, but said he did so because the agenda included inaccuracies. The inaccuracies, On-Campus Rep Justin Pabian confirmed, included multiple people listed for one position.
To refute charges that he was involved in too many activities, Tackett said he worked in A.S. because he was passionate about it, but worked additional jobs out of financial necessity.
“I am a low-income student,” he said. “The fact that I work two jobs should not be held against me.”
After he had spoken, External VP of Local Affairs Jared Renfro said council members should retract Tackett’s removal from the evening’s agenda.
“That’s not really why we’re here,” Renfro said.
Morris said he agreed with removing the action item from the agenda.
“I made a mistake in my attempt to remove Lance Tackett,” Morris said. “He’s made a good case for himself and opened my eyes to a lot of things that he’s done. I admit my wrongs – as well as I like to celebrate when I’m really right.”
Rep-at-Large Kristen Ditlevsen motioned to retract the removal of Tackett from the agenda. Council members unanimously consented.
After approximately two hours of discussion regarding Tackett, Leg members moved on to other business and affirmed the appointment of several A.S. Boards and Committees members, as well as approving the appointment of Off-Campus Rep. Lindsay Saito.
The meeting concluded after Saito took an oath of office, administered by Wells.