Former NMSU student regent Vela questions legitimacy of Morrow impeachment grounds


NMSU PhD candidate and former NMSU student regent Margie Vela. Photo courtesy of NMSU.

Margie Vela, whose term recently expired as New Mexico State University’s student regent, has spoken out about the looming impeachment of ASNMSU president Emerson Morrow.

Vela, who served her term as the school’s student regent from 2017 through the beginning of 2019, sent an email to ASNMSU College of Business senator Alexandria Beatty, who was the co-author of the impeachment resolution along with College of Arts and Sciences senator Marcus Sanchez.

In the email, Vela questioned whether just an observation of behavior is enough to begin the process of impeaching the president without any formal sobriety testing being done.

“Although I am not a supporter of public intoxication, it is beyond me that an assessment of intoxication and/or inebriation can be made without a state administered test for alcohol or substance,” Vela explained in the email. “I cannot fathom the idea that a respected Senator as yourself would move forward with allegations based upon observations of behavior without concrete evidence of your allegations.”

According to the ASNMSU rulebook, the Senate “shall have sole power to initiate impeachment proceedings against any individual holding a position of trust and confidence under ASNMSU on allegation of nonfeasance or misfeasance by a three-quarters vote of those present and voting.”

A Senate meeting is scheduled to be had Thursday night where it is expected that Chief Senate Clerk Bethany Mendoza will read aloud the resolution and vice president Linda Cisneros will assign it a number.

Per the rulebook, Morrow will have the opportunity to speak on the matter in two weeks at the next Senate meeting because his position is being discussed officially. Should the resolution get the three-quarters vote needed, it will then move ahead to the Supreme Court Chief Justice within two days by the Chief Senate Clerk, where the Supreme Court will then consider the impeachment.

With a lot at stake on the eve on of the Senate meeting, Vela pleaded to Beatty to use her power as a Senator responsibly while listing some of Morrow’s accomplishments while he has been in office.

“I had the honor to work with Emerson to extend the Student Leadership Scholarship to include all Student Senators with a GPA above 2.5,” Vela wrote. “He worked diligently to ensure that this measure was well supported and that as Regents we were well informed with information he and his administration gathered. I am impressed with his leadership, and the way he protected the identities of students who were below the GPA requirement by presenting this information in a professional and respectful manner. Largely due to his efforts, the measure was passed unanimously by the BOR.”

“President Morrow has represented the NMSU student body in impeccable fashion on numerous occasions. He is well respected with students, faculty, staff, and administration on campus; and with community leaders and legislators at the local, state, and national levels. Emerson is a role model to many in our community. His leadership and service have extended far beyond the NMSU campus.”

The Round Up reached out to Beatty for a response to Vela’s email but she would not comment on the matter until after the Senate meeting Thursday night. 

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