FREE SPEECH/OPEN MEETINGS -- The student body president at Sacramento City College, summarily removed and suspended for permitting a graphic anti-abortion display at a student forum, has been reinstated—because his recall election was taken at an unlawful meeting, reports Stephanie Rodriguez for SacCityExpress.com, the college's "student-run news portal."

Associated Student Government President Steve Macias has been
reinstated in full, following a failed recall attempt and a suspension
approved by his fellow ASG members.

More than 600 students voted in the two-day recall election held on
Oct. 27 and 28 and more than half voted to remove Macias and ASG
Student Affairs Commissioner Monica Guzman from office, according to
ASG Vice President Debby Dixon.


The election was declared null and void by City College on Nov. 2,
however, due to a violation of an open-meeting law called The Brown Act
under California Government Code Section 54954.2 which states:

“The agenda shall specify the time and location of the regular
meeting and shall be posted in a location that is freely accessible to
members of the public.”


The violation concerned the ASG’s failure to appropriately post the
agenda for the special meeting that led to a vote to hold the recall
election, ASG Vice President Debby Dixon admitted.

“I messed up the students’ voice,” Dixon said. “I forgot to put the
time on the agenda set for the special meeting — just that
technicality.”

The same day Macias survived the recall election results he was also
suspended and stripped of his duties as president, according to City
College Public Information Officer Amanda Hamilton.

“In the absence of his participation as president, the ASG Senate
voted to suspend his duties indefinitely so that ASG activities can
continue,” Hamilton said.


As quickly as Nov. 5, the suspension of Macias was overruled and he
was reinstated in full, according to ASG Commissioner of Public
Relations Justin Turner.

“A couple of the members of the ASG have began the process of
impeachment,” Turner said. “President Steve Macias has broken
constitutional bylaws such as … not being present at meetings, even
prior to the recall.”

The story behind Macias's recall and suspension is provided by Steven Ertelt for LifeNews.com:

College
officials targeted Steve Macias for retaliation after they attempted
to censor the speech of an off-campus pro-life group that ASG had
already voted to allow to participate in a campus event.
Macias
refused to censor the pro-life display on the grounds that doing so
would violate the group’s First Amendment rights. The officials
and ASG retaliated by subjecting him to an illegal recall election.

“Respecting
people’s First Amendment rights is worthy of praise, not punishment,”
said Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) Litigation Staff Counsel David Hacker. “Steve Macias
did exactly the right thing in his role as president, and now he is
paying the price determined by those who wanted to censor this pro-life
group.”


In
September, ASG approved the requests of several groups, including
a pro-life group called the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP), to participate
in the college’s Constitution Day.
On
the day that GAP erected its display, ASG Advisor Lee Weathers-Miguel
and Vice President of Student Services Michael Poindexter objected
to it and demanded that Macias have it removed. Macias explained that
he could not do so without violating the group’s First Amendment
rights.

Shortly
thereafter, Weathers-Miguel removed Macias from an ASG trip to a national
leadership conference and refused to explain why.
The
Queer-Straight Alliance, a campus group, and Equality California began
to gather signatures to recall Macias, and they and ASG members made
untrue public statements about him, ADF alleges.

The
ASG violated its own constitution and bylaws repeatedly by not following
rules to validate signatures through the judicial branch, voting to
set the recall election by the invalid methods of e-mails and text
messages, ADF told LifeNews.com.
ADF
officials said they attempted to suspend him by an invalid resolution
that cited portions of the ASG Constitution which provide no basis
or reason for suspending him. ASG and administrators never even notified
Macias that the recall had been scheduled.