The student senate voted to remove Speaker pro tempore Ian Herd and appointed senator Aden Lloyd in Herd's place during their session on Feb. 8.
The recall call vote to remove Herd from the position passed 21-14 with two senators abstaining. The vote only affected Herd's role as speaker pro tempore of the student senate and will not see him removed as a student senator.
Senator Jada Hudson, who called for the recall, was concerned by Herd’s behavior at the last senate session on Feb. 2, which she viewed as disrespectful to herself and to Speaker Natalie Trimble. She said that she has no personal ill will towards Herd, and she believes he would do well in the position later in his senate career.
“I told Ian this when he was asking about the role, the speaker pro tempore is supposed to de-escalate conflict. They're supposed to be the mediator in certain situations. By his behavior at senate, it was clear that, in my opinion, he might not be able to mediate those best,” Hudson said.
Trimble called several recesses to discuss the parliamentary procedure with Herd during the previous senate session, where Herd motioned to table Lloyd's and Hudson’s call for a vote to override Student Body President Reedy Newton’s veto of a bill they wrote to cap campaign spending for Student Government campaigns. He then yielded the well without asking for questions, andHudson said that it is generally considered disrespectful to try to table someone else’s bill and repetitively challenge the rulings of the speaker.
“I felt like some of the conversations that needed to happen didn't need to be broadcast through a microphone. I felt that they would much more benefit the student body and those who were calling the motions if we could work these things out in private,” Trimble said of the recesses.
Trimble said she did not know Hudson planned to call for a recall and had debriefed with Herd and Student Government administration after the last sessionbecause of the feeling of disrespect. Trimble was neutral on Herd's removal, as she views it as her job to support the rights of all senators.
“I did not know in advance that my service to the senate would be called into question at this senate session. But first, I just want to say that I have always served this senate with what I believe to be my best intentions. I've put my best foot forward,” Herd said. “The codes say the speaker pro tempore is a senator with the full rights and privileges, and it just so happened we had a discussion where I might not have agreed with the fold. I didn't agree. But to say that a recess to discuss procedure was a sign of disrespect — we had our disagreements, we patched those out, we've had the meetings behind the scenes.”
Lloyd is the fourth speaker pro tempore of the 114th student senate. Hudson originally held the position during the term of Speaker Noah Glasgow, but she stepped down and was replaced by Trimble. When Glasgow stepped down to pursue an internship in Washington, DC, Trimble became speaker and Herd was elected speaker pro tempore.
Lloyd voted to recall Herd but said he intends to continue with Herd’s initiatives, such as reforming the way the senate does calendars for senate sessions.
“I know it was a contentious vote, and I really want to thank all participants. I absolutely do not want to get off on the wrong foot, especially this late in the term, so please come to me if you have any questions or even reservations,” Lloyd said.
During the session, Lloyd also co-sponsored a bill with the chairman of the health and safety committee, senator Sean Deuty, that would have candidates for Student Government positions removed from the senate chambers during debates about their confirmations.
Last week, Newton vetoed a bill Deuty wrote that would have allowed the senate to enter into executive session to debate nominees for Student Government positions. After talking with Newton, Deuty agreed with her veto.
“She brought me in and she said that one of her main concerns was openness with the student body," Deuty said. "Another important aspect of it was that the president would have no clue why their candidate was shot down because they wouldn't be at the debate.”
In response to what Deuty viewed as Newton’s valid criticism of the first bill, Deuty's and Lloyd's bill new would remove only the candidate from the chambers during the debate, in part due to an altercation earlier in the term with a nominee for a Student Government position.