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The Dartmouth
June 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

LaValle's removal declared unconstitutional by Swink

The Student Assembly's parliamentarian, Simone Swink '98, declared last week's removal of Treasurer Dom LaValle '99 invalid Thursday night, and attempts to remove LaValle at last night's executive committee meeting proved unsuccessful.

"I'm obviously relieved," LaValle said. "This has been a rather long ordeal. I'm just ready to put it behind me. I want this thing to be over."

Assembly Vice President Chris Swift '98 announced at last week's meeting that LaValle had been removed following a recommendation by his Membership and Internal Affairs Committee and a vote by the executive committee, but some members of the Assembly protested that the removal was unconstitutional.

The controversy hinged on an ambiguous part of the constitution, which Swift interpreted to mean that two-thirds of the executive committee's voting quorum had to support the removal. Case Dorkey '99, Scott Jacobs '99 and others argued that two-thirds of the entire executive committee had to support the removal.

Swink was charged with making the final decision on the constitution's intentions by last Friday afternoon. She decided the removal was unconstitutional.

In a BlitzMail message addressed to the Assembly, Swink wrote, "after careful readings of the document and the accompanying [Student Assembly External Review Committee] document and brief discussions with members of the SAERC committee, I believe that in their goal to establish as many safeguards as possible, the authors of the document intended that the entire Executive Committee be present to vote on an issue of this gravity."

In light of Swink's decision, the executive committee voted again on the MIAC's recommendation of removal at their meeting last night.

"The decision was not to accept the recommendation from the Membership and Internal Affairs Committee," Swift said.

"It's been a difficult situation for everybody involved," Assembly President Jon Heavey '97 said. "The important thing is that when personal feelings started to arise, everybody turned to the constitution and used it as a guide for what should be done. And that's really all you can ask in a situation like this."

"My professional opinion is that the decision of the executive committee stands, and should have stood" until the parliamentarian decides otherwise, Swift said. "From the time the vote was taken until the time that Simone sent out her decision, he was effectively not the treasurer of the Student Assembly."