Rejected applicant questions USG cabinet

Kearns defends appointments

Written By Andrew Brinker, Co-News Editor

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An applicant for the open position of United Student Government (USG) senator has come forward to denounce and question his exclusion from the latest group of newly appointed members.

Junior political science major, Dannys Marrero, applied for the position of senator in January, after USG published a press release notifying the student body that they were searching for more representatives to help diversify the Legislative Body. Six other students applied, each of which were eventually appointed to the position of senator. Marrero was the only applicant not selected. However, Marrero did not realize he was the only exclusion form the appointees until Monday, March 11.

“I was given no explanation as to why I wasn’t appointed,” Marrero said. “Basically, they sent me an email that said, ‘we had some outstanding candidates such as you, but unfortunately you were not selected.’ No one ever gave me a real reason.”

The power to appoint senators is given solely to the president of USG.

President Kaylee Kearns summarized the process behind approving senatorial appointments in a statement given to The Globe by USG Communications Director Shelby Fink, reading in part, “The decision of the approval of appointments after the application process was based off the consideration of Executive Cabinet members, the initial goal of the appointment process, and ultimately, the President’s thoughts of how the senator could be integrated into the current Legislative Body.”

In the minutes of the January 28 Legislative Body meeting, it is written that when asked by a senator about the decision to not appoint one of the candidates, Vice President Brittany Arp told the body that there were hesitations regarding the candidate, which ultimately guided Kearns’ decision to reject Marrero’s application.

“It (the constitution) doesn’t say that I have to give specific reasons,” Kearns said when asked about the hesitations. “But I feel like the majority of my team was uncomfortable appointing someone, so we weren’t going to appoint that individual.”

However, Marrero believes that the decision to exclude him from the new group of senators was a calculated effort.

“One former senator approached me and told me that the reason I was not appointed was because I would go against the current leadership,” said Marrero.

Marrero went on to explain that he would bring a strong voice of opposition of the Executive Cabinet to the Legislative Body, which he cited as what he believed to be the true reason he wasn’t included in the new appointments.

“They do not feel comfortable with somebody calling them out and holding them accountable for things they have or have not done,” Marrero said.

Marrero also made allegations regarding the current USG leadership’s general stance on conflict within the body.

“They want everything to be ‘Kumbaya’,” said Marrero. “That’s not what it’s supposed to be. You’re supposed to bring issues up.”

Kearns denied these allegations, saying that she had no problem with opposition to her administration.

“There is a good amount of healthy debate amongst the senators that are already in USG,” Kearns said.

The open senatorial appointments were initially announced on January 15 in a statement issued by USG to the student body, citing a need “to further diversify the representation within the Legislative Body.” The statement did not detail the specific diversification the opening hoped to achieve.

Marrero noted that the wording of the statement made the call for diversity in USG’s representation appeared to be a call for racial diversity.

“If that’s the case, it doesn’t make much sense to me,” Marrero said. “Why pick even more people that make the problem worse, but then leave others out that meet that diversity request.”

But Kearns made it adamantly clear that racial diversity was not the diversity the open appointments were intended to improve in USG.

“We were looking for diversity among majors and schools,” Kearns said. “I apologize for not explaining our definition of what we were looking for in diversity. That [race] was not a factor at play.”

Marrero, a person of color, confirmed Kearns’ rejection, saying that he believed that his race did not play a role in the decision to exclude him from appointment.

“It was a personal issue,” said Marrero.

In an email addressed to The Globe, Kearns, Arp and several current senators, Marrero asked USG to reconsider his appointment status, citing his knowledge of politics amongst other qualifications.

“As a very active student on Point Park’s campus, a TV producer for U-View, college athlete, of minority race, member of the LGBT community and Army/ROTC member I believe I serve as the perfect candidate to fulfill the President’s goal in diversifying USG,” said Marrero.

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