The Associated Student Body Student Senate voted seven to two against a proposed recall effort of Los Rios Student Trustee Cameron Weaver, who came under fire for casting doubt on whether the Holocaust actually took place in a 55-minute interview with the Current on Sept. 16.
Following the vote, Sen. Tamara Dunning, one of the two board members who voted to recall Weaver, said that the board members voted from the wrong perspective.
“I think they (the board members who voted against recalling Weaver) voted from friendship,” said Dunning. “They didn’t vote from an ‘elected official’ mindset.”
During public comment, Weaver said that he has been “misrepresented” by all of the media coverage of his comments.
“Despite the fact that I’ve been completely misrepresented in ARC Current’s initial coverage as well as all the subsequent local news coverage, I recognize that this entire event has cast the district in a negative light,” said Weaver. “From the very bottom of my heart, I am truly sorry that I am the epicenter of this.
“The misrepresentation that I willingly, without thinking – I guess you could say, set myself up for – has caused a really tragic trainwreck of a situation to transpire.”
Clubs and Events Board Vice President Mary Stedman, speaking in the meeting as a student, said that she does not support the recall of Weaver.
“For those who think that this is anti-Semitic, I would have to formally and kindly disagree,” said Stedman. “This is being skeptical on a piece of history, something that we should not be taking so emotionally. … If we’re going to punish one person’s opinion, what’s to say we shouldn’t punish everyone for their opinion.”
Bruce Pomer of the Jewish Community Relations Council, a former member of the Los Rios Board of Trustees, said those comments were “incredible” and “completely miss the point.”
“We can repeat it a million times – facts are facts. When you deny something documented on film, by the observations of millions of people, that’s very difficult especially for an educational institution,” said Pomer. “The reason you have to bring this up is to make sure it doesn’t happen again … Are we going to deny what happened to African-Americans for the first two hundred years of this country’s history? It’s the same.”
Pomer, who has been in talks with the district regarding Weaver, said that he thinks the district needs to provide an event for genocide awareness.
“When you get this kind of reaction, why do we even have a school?” said Pomer.
CAEB President Justin Nicholson said during the meeting that without any action on his opinion, Weaver’s comments don’t matter.
“I’ve learned to accept everyone’s opinions for whatever they are because an opinion is just that, an opinion,” said Nicholson. “Until someone acts on that opinion, it is nothing.”
Three of the four Los Rios Associated Student Body student governments would have to agree for a recall to go to the voters.
Jorge Riley, who served as acting ASB Student Senate President in 2013, gathered 200 of students who wanted Weaver recalled. Riley said that the Center for Leadership and Development told him that he hadn’t gathered enough.
Riley feels the students voices aren’t being heard.
“He got off here because of the buddy system,” said Riley. “But just because he has friends at this school doesn’t mean he has friends at the other schools.”
Acting Student Senate President David Hylton said that he found it suspicious the Current has refused to provide the board with a copy of the audio regarding where Weaver originally made the comments that are under scrutiny.
“What is the adequate justification to keep 70 percent of a recording secret?” asked Hylton.
The Current has released the sections of the 55-minute interview pertaining to the Holocaust.
During the discussion about the vote to recall Weaver, Director of Legislative Affairs Laurie Jones said the she would vote against.
Dunning said that a vote cannot be announced during the discussion and that it might influence the board. She called for the vote to be suspended so that Jones’s statement can be investigated.
The board voted to not suspend the vote and to not investigate Jones’s statement.
After the vote, Hylton said that the discussion of recalling Weaver will be struck from all future meetings.
Additional reporting by John Ferrannini