The following article originally stated that Gloria Schindler is an Off-Campus Rep. She is a Rep-at-Large. The Nexus regrets this error.
Following a three-hour debate concerning allegations of bias, racism and homophobia in regards to an Associated Students attorney general candidate, A.S. President Stephanie Brower rescinded her choice for the position at last night’s Legislative Council meeting.
In a repeat of last week’s meeting, the council discussed at length the possible appointment of Michael Lambright, a second-year philosophy major, to attorney general. Some members claimed that Lambright’s opinion piece published in the Daily Nexus last spring, proved that the candidate had an alleged bias toward A.S. and under-represented groups on campus.
In his column (“Leg Council Breaks Promises to Students,” Daily Nexus, May 15), Lambright criticized an A.S. Finance Board decision to fund the Black Pioneers Renaissance Organization’s annual Women of Color Appreciation ceremony. At the time the column was published, some members of last year’s Leg Council had questioned whether or not the funding violated Finance Board rules by restricting the amount of male attendees.
“The fundamental problem with this action, as mentioned by Finance Board Chair Nick Szamet, is that the rules that govern A.S. state that it may sponsor an event solely on the condition that ‘attendance is open to all UCSB students,'” Lambright wrote.
After the piece was published, the A.S. Judicial Council conducted a review and found that the allocation did not violate financial policies.
On-Campus Rep Paulina Abustan said various student organizations had reservations about Lambright’s personal outlook.
“A lot of student organizations feel threatened by you,” Abustan said. “What you did was biased from the student of color perspective.”
However, Lambright said he based his opinion on his interpretation of the A.S. Legal Code, not on any personal feelings.
“I don’t feel it was biased,” Lambright said. “You as legislators have the power to change rules and regulations, but not ignore them.”
Brower, who recommended his appointment, said she disagreed with the accusations against Lambright.
“The allegation that he was targeting a [specific] community is in my opinion, bullshit,” Brower said. “I would never bring someone forward or support someone who I thought would be negative to our community.”
Rep-at-Large Gloria Schindler said she thought the president could appoint a better candidate.
“I see a white, heterosexual male,” Schindler said. “If you’d like to say you are an ally, it’s your role and responsibility to listen to people of color and queer people… but I feel we can find a candidate that will make everyone on this board feel comfortable.”
Off-Campus Rep Christopher Meltzer said he felt the council was overlooking Lambright’s qualifications.
“This is highly reverse-discriminatory, and race should not have anything to do with [his appointment],” Meltzer said. “Just because [the article was] not in favor of the board, it should not be any harm to him for attaining a job he is obviously clearly qualified for.”
However, after three hours of debate, Brower rescinded her appointment due to discomfort she perceived from the council over her recommendation.
Additionally during the meeting, Leg Council members passed a bill to improve relations between its organization and campus media as well as a resolution supporting the students of Jena, La. where alleged hate crimes occurred.