Within one month, Clubs and Events Board President Jeremy Diefenbacher has demonstrated such a lack of accountability and overwhelming disrespect for both the office he was elected to and the students that elected him that only one meaningful option remains: resignation.
Diefenbacher’s recent behavior includes being removed from General Assembly, a two day advocacy event in Los Angeles for California community college student senates, for incidents “regarding substances,” according to ASB representatives.
When asked by reporters for comment on his removal from General Assembly, Diefenbacher went on a profanity-laced tirade, essentially throwing a tantrum to avoid taking accountability for his actions.
“We’re not talking about that. We’re not discussing that,” he said. “I don’t know what the f— is going to happen and who you think I am.”
This controversy follows just days after Diefenbacher’s apology for saying “shoot our trannies,” in reference to Transgender Day of Remembrance at the beginning of a board meeting, which his ASB adviser, Dean of Student Services Manuel Perez, insists was a sarcastic joke.
ARC has a controversial history with Prop 8, the 2008 ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage. ARC’s student government voted 8-3 to support the proposition, leading students to attempt to recall the student government and garnering national attention.
Considering this, as well as the dark subject matter — the murder and persecution of transgendered people — does Diefenbacher really believe this is something to joke about?
Diefenbacher’s actions have made it clear that he does not feel beholden to his constituents.
He has also made it clear that he does not want to answer for what he has done.
Student money — our money — was spent to send Diefenbacher to General Assembly and provide him with a stipend. Diefenbacher showed his gratitude for that privilege by behaving in such a juvenile and undignified manner that he was sent home.
Diefenbacher, along with his fellow ASB delegates, were required to sign a waiver before travel agreeing to abide by the California community college policy on conduct at General Assembly, which states that in the case of a violation of the rules, “neither the Chancellor’s Office or the Student Senate will be responsible for any expenses incurred in my transportation home, and that I will not receive a refund of conference registration fees.”
If Diefenbacher is at all sorry to the students he misrepresented, he will refund any and all money spent for his attendance. And then resign.
Perez stated that students charged with misconduct are not immediately expelled from the board.
The American River College Constitution says that the Student Senate must agree unanimously that a student is responsible for illegal conduct and that this must be confirmed by the Office of Student Life before a member can be expelled from the board.
Or, Diefenbacher can save everyone the trouble and embarrassment and attempt to atone for his behavior by stepping down as CAEB president.
Another high-ranking ASB member, David Hylton, was also removed from General Assembly with Diefenbacher. Hylton, however, admitted to his wrongdoing and took full accountability, stating that he will be seeking treatment and is expecting to be punished.
Diefenbacher, however, has done nothing but rant and curse in the hopes that we allow him to sweep his transgressions under the rug.
Diefenbacher chose to run for office. He chose to represent students on this campus, and to abide by all rules and expectations, demonstrating behavior befitting an elected official.
The question is, do you feel represented by someone who would use derogatory slurs to joke about murder? Do you feel represented by someone who must be physically removed from conferences for substance use? Someone who can’t be trusted to go two days without committing misconduct while acting in an official capacity?
Unfortunately, Diefenbacher has made one thing clear in the past month: He doesn’t care if you feel represented.