Who is our new Student Senate President?

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Who is our new Student Senate President?

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President Hanson steps in as student senate president-elect is almost removed by the Senate.

Tirzah Wiebolt, Staff Writer

Anoka Ramsey’s Student Senate made the move to remove President-elect Elijah Muhammad from office, however, the move is not final: President Hanson stepped in as of Monday, April 23rd to conduct his own investigation. The decision to remove Muhammad was made after an investigation that was brought about by several anonymous notes from the student suggestion box. According to the student senate bylaws, all notes must be read and discussed. There were four notes in total with complaints about Muhammad.

Three said the exact same thing while the fourth was a long letter with many complaints about Muhammad. The investigation that followed was overseen by the executive board, led by current president Rachel Bray and including Ocean Lamoureaux. Bray and Muhammad have had a documented verbal altercation in the past. Ocean ran against Muhammed in the election last month and she and Muhammed currently have a no-contact order from the school due to an incident that is not currently public knowledge.

The Campus Eye has reached out to Bray by email as well as in person and she has declined to comment on the investigation or the contents of this article. “I have faith in the system,” Elijah said while the investigation was underway, though he also pointed out that there is no way for him to appeal regardless of the outcome.

While all the notes were anonymous, the letter in the suggestion box was traced to its source and was discredited by the investigation. However, the contents of the letter were placed into the notes for the student senate meeting and put up on the school website before being investigated.

Coon Rapids Student Senate President-Elect Photo Credit: Elijah
Muhammad

“I have been maligned in public and apologized to behind closed doors,” said Muhammad. In the end, the Student Senate decided to remove Muhammad from office anyway. While the student senate would not like to comment on why at this time, Muhammad was told that the removal was due to him telling a student how to vote through the school email when asked and for him closing the door to the veteran’s lounge.

While investigating the situation one member of the Campus Eye attempted to attend the public student senate meeting on April 18th, 2018 and was asked to leave by Bray when the investigation was brought up. Journalists’ right to attend such public events is protected by law. Also, the topic of Muhammad was not included in the agenda or notes from the Senate meeting which is against student senate bylaws.

On April 23, 2018, after the results of the investigation had been told to Muhammad, President Hanson decided to launch his own investigation into the matter. Bray received a letter from President Hanson informing her that Muhammad is to remain in his current position until another investigation is completed.

“I recently became aware that the Coon Rapids Student Senate acted to remove President-elect Elijah Muhammad. Because of concerns raised about the action of overturning the results of the

election, I have decided to exercise my authority to pause the removal of Mr. Muhammad pending a review of the facts and process underlying this decision.” President Hanson states in the letter.

It is not known at this time who will be looking into these concerns. LeadMN, the organization that oversees the student senate and many other student senates in Minnesota is also known to be involved right now. Mike Dean, the executive director of LeadMN, was on campus this past Monday to investigate matters and talk to those involved.

“There was unethical behavior according to the student senate constitution, everything is still undecided,” says Joyce Traczyk, the academic advisor for the student senate. She declines to comment any more currently until the investigation is complete. Muhammad, however, is hopeful for his future.

“In moments like these, I remember the lessons of my mother, this lesson being, no matter the turbulence always stay focused downstream”. However, Muhammad also points out “It took a month and a half.”