ASNMU president charged with violation of student code

Jason Morgan, the current president of the Associated Students of NMU (ASNMU), has been charged with violating the Student Code by the Dean of Students Office.

The specific charges are “disorderly conduct” and “personal abuse,” which stem from a letter to the editor that Morgan wrote and was published in the April 1 issue of The North Wind. In that letter, Morgan alleged that former ASNMU treasurer, Andrew Foster, “would have been up to impeachment due to neglect of duties if he hadn’t resigned.” Foster denies these allegations and made a complaint to the Dean of Students Office, which lead to the charges.

Mary Brundage, associate Dean of Students, who signed the “Specification of Charges” form on Friday, April 2 declined to comment.

Morgan said that he was shocked when he received the form, which outlined the charges against him.

“I personally think the allegations are unwarranted. I don’t think that they make a whole lot of sense. When I first received the allegations, I had to reread it several times,” Morgan said.

According to the “Specification of Charges” form, Morgan allegedly provided “false or misleading” information in his letter to the editor.

Referring to Foster, the form went on to say, “The student referred to in this statement feels degraded, humiliated and angry. The student referred to fears his reputation and future may be injured by this statement.”

Morgan said the letter to the editor was factual and doesn’t constitute a violation of the Student Code. In winter semester, Foster missed one ASNMU board meeting on February 22 and two “Let’s Chat” sessions, which Morgan said would mean that Foster would have been eligible for impeachment.

“To clarify, (Foster) could have been impeached, but I wouldn’t have spent my time trying to impeach somebody for missing meetings,” Morgan said.

“Let’s Chat” sessions are informal gatherings, at which recorded attendance is not taken, that allow ASNMU representatives and NMU students to interact.

Foster said that he would not have been eligible for impeachment because he does not believe that his absences from the two “Let’s Chat” sessions constitute unexcused absences.

According to the ASNMU bylaws, “Attendance is required at all meetings of the ASNMU General Assembly and Executive Council, as well as all Assembly Committees in which an Executive Council member holds membership.” The bylaws also specify that members of ASNMU’s Executive Council, such as the treasurer and president, are susceptible to impeachment proceedings after having more than two unexcused absences per semester.

Foster said that he reported the letter to the editor because he felt that his reputation was impugned by the statements in the letter.

“My biggest concern is that once something is in print it is forever encapsulated. These articles are searchable by future employers or colleagues,” he said.

Foster also added it is that it is important to correct inaccuracies and that he believes the hearing will result in an appropriate decision.

“I think it’s important for somebody to stand up for themselves and to not let false statements go uncontested,” he said.

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7 Comments

  • Annoyed
    April 8, 2010 | Permalink |

    I am so sick of ASNMU and everything involved with ASNMU. Many of the members, past and present, need to seriously grow up. I thought the petty drama would have ended after the elections, but now, there’s this. First off, Morgan is an idiot for sending that letter in, and Northwind, you guys are even more stupid for publishing such ridiculous, minuscule, insignificant drama. As a leader, aren’t you supposed to attempt to be respected and bind ASNMU together to actually try to represent the student body? Instead of talking smack and instigating silly politics, you could try to actually doing something positive for once. Next, I can’t get over Foster’s hypocrisy.

    “The student referred to in this statement feels degraded, humiliated and angry. The student referred to fears his reputation and future may be injured by this statement.”

    So…because you were victimized and you fear that employers will find this, so you go ahead and file CHARGES against Morgan that will be on his conduct records which is often checked by future employers????!!!! If you can’t take criticism, you probably shouldn’t have been part of a position like that in the first place. Good thing you stepped down. Write a letter back or something to the Northwind, but don’t file charges with the deans. Petty drama is a waste of time for them.

    I am ashamed and embarrassed of my student government and how they have behaved this last semester. I am even more daunted by the lack of respect and lack of moral character of people I once respected in ASNMU and previously in ASNMU.

    Someone might say, if this bothers you why don’t you step up and give your name? Well a) I don’t feel like being degraded by the cult of asnmu and b) because of BS like this…I really don’t feel like having charges like this on my record. whatever happened to freedom of speech, anyway?

    Foster, drop the charges, move on and grow up.
    Morgan, step down gracefully, cut the dramatics and move on with your life.

    Issues solved. I think NMU would be happier as a whole.

  • Former ASNMU member
    April 8, 2010 | Permalink |

    Here, here Annoyed. Well-stated.

  • Clarification
    April 9, 2010 | Permalink |

    Lucia Lopez will be the new president as of next week. In Andrew’s defense, what Jason said about him in the letter was false and slanderous and could damage his reputation which is why he brought up the incident to the Dean of Student’s office. He isn’t pressing charges, he just decided to save himself from trouble later in this economy.

  • Anon
    April 9, 2010 | Permalink |

    Correction: Morgan’s statements were not inaccurate. Even if they had been, that would in no way be grounds for any kind of hearing. It’s absurd that his free speech can be called disorderly conduct. Simply ridiculous.

    Nobody should fear speaking their mind for fear of getting kicked out of school.

  • Name*
    April 10, 2010 | Permalink |

    Anon– Morgan’s statements were completely inaccurate. “Let’s Chat” sessions aren’t required, official meetings. Free speech stops at libel. Otherwise there would not be successful libel cases.
    It is not okay to ruin someone’s reputation with lies. Whether the school should take action is debatable but SOME action should be taken.

  • Ridiculous
    April 12, 2010 | Permalink |

    The charges of “disorderly conduct” and “personal abuse” brought forth by the Dean of Students Office will pan out to be the biggest mistake in this entire debacle. There have been too many cases involving student freedom of speech being punished by university administrations that have gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where students have been awarded thousands. If the NMU administration were smart, President Wong would step in and eliminate this liability of lawsuit to the university. I can’t wait for the Michigan ACLU to get involved!

  • MG
    April 15, 2010 | Permalink |

    You people are all fools. Grow up and grow a pair (figuratively speaking), you’re all “big” kids now. What the hell are you all going to do when you leave this college fantasy land and move on into the real world? Are you all going to sit back and cry like this anytime negativity or opposition comes your way? Sort your lives out, throw aside the differences, and do something productive for once. Or at the very LEAST (God forbid) ACT YOUR AGE. You are supposed to be LEADERS who set an example for the student body. This entire meaningless debacle is doing the exact opposite and simply wasting everybody’s time.

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