Apr

28

And Now We Have A Statement

Written by

One day after voting to impeach University Senator Rajat Roy, ESC Executive Board released the following statement through council president Peter Valeiras:

“On Monday (April 27), the Engineering Student Council voted to impeach Senator Rajat Roy from council due to his negligence in fulfilling his responsibilities as outlined in the constitution. The move to call for his impeachment was the culmination of a number of meetings between the council’s Executive Board and Rajat.  Each time we sought an improvement in communication between Rajat and the council, or at least with the E-Board. Yet, we did not see the improvements that we were promised by Rajat and this lack of communication with the ESC, along with other issues, resulted in the council’s vote for his impeachment. 

The proceedings were closed because they pertained to matters internal to the council.  There was no need for the Senate to speak on his behalf because we were not questioning his accomplishments within the Senate, but rather his methods and relationship to the ESC.  However, we did allow a faculty member who chairs one of the Senate committees that Rajat serves on to speak on his behalf.”

UPDATE: Roy tells Bwog that he was not told the specific charges until Monday, even though the ESC constitution requires that both sides be given “at least one week” to prepare arguments.

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38 Comments

  1. closed meeting  

    Valeiras says that the meeting was closed because it "pertained to matters internal to the council." Yet SEAS students elected Rajat as their Senator, and whether he is impeached or not pertains to them as well. This meeting should have been open; Valeiras has failed to make a valid case for not doing so. This whole process is shameful, but I'm not surprised - I hear Valeiras had a personal vendetta here.

  2. SEAS'11  

    i've always been incredibly ashamed of ESC and its secretiveness, what else is new?

  3. Yeah...  

    Definitely do not think this was an issue of "lack of communication." It's funny how people in leadership positions here use that excuse to hide their real motives when in actuality they have major communication issues themselves with the student body. Or maybe I'm just saying that because I've had the same argument falsely made against myself...

  4. rajat  

    is the one responsible for bringing up the rotc mess. also, personally i find him very annoying

  5. rajat  

    was a disgrace to ESC. However, ESC is a disgrace to Columbia. Student government meetings should not be closed, and I have yet to see any that are other than ESC's. They did this last year as well, arbitrarily shutting out intelligent engineers who were making a proposal to make ESC open to democracy.

  6. hmm  

    From the timing, it seems clear that Peter Valeiras had some personal motive, as he initiated the impeachment proceedings in the final days of his term; he could have easily left the task to the incoming ESC board and not ordered this lame duck, midnight proceeding.

  7. snoopy  

    although raj is the biggest fuckin douche on this campus, he does his job. was obv it was a personal issue b/w raj, peter and eboard, not much else.

    and why doesnt peter impeach the rest of the council then? theres a bunch that dont do their jobs at all. oh wait, they arent raj, my b

  8. alum  

    no one cares about this BS besides the people on the council

  9. impartial  

    Okay, so I am on a council but not in ESC. That said, I have worked with Peter in the past for inter-council events and I honestly don't think he would impeach someone to get back at them, or if he simply didn't like them, especially if he's basically checked out of school anyway.

    Unfortunately, the meeting was closed, so we'll never know what they talked about. But, even though ESC did have a closed session, they are not a dictatorship. The majority of ESC must have felt that Raj should be impeached, and so he was.

    For all of you who are upset that it was closed, would you have honestly even cared and went to the meeting to voice your opinion? So many of you complain here about student councils, which I can understand because there's a lot that goes on that most students don't even realize - I had no idea how complicated things were until I was in office. You should run for a position and try to change things if you really care about it. For example, if you run and win you could amend the ESC constitution and have open elections. Do something about it.

  10. Rajat  

    was impeached by the ENTIRE council - not just Peter or the E-board. Obviously the council agreed with the impeachment, since it was voted for by enough members for it to pass. He was a dick, and it still havent been announced whether he will stay in office. Chill out people!

    Also, don't blame ESC for all your problems. They don't really have much power with the administration, but they do get some work done. If you think there is more that could be done, get involved.

    • .....  

      i'm kinda getting annoyed by this whole 'get involved' argument. you know what, some of us don't have the TIME to run for council because we're already involved with other things. this is why we elect you guys! and that is why we expect u to have some modicum of transparency and representativeness for the rest of us.

    • snoopy  

      yes, that's all true, but then there are others that should be impeached then, for the same reasons.

      not a fan of raj at all, i think he deserves all the shit say about him. but ex-esc is right about how peter always has a bone to pick, and hasn't been the most objective about raj. i was ex-esc,too.

      peter, stop power trippin.

      • but still  

        if peter was going at this based on personal vendetta, then this call for impeachment should have failed.
        how did approx. 30 members of ESC gather enough votes to pass this?

        explain?

        • peter  

          isn't the only one who dislikes Rajat. He's a dick, and I get the feeling that other members might have voted on their personal feelings more than his actual effectiveness.

  11. ex-ESC  

    i've been on ESC and have had personal experience with peter valeiras. during the meetings it was blatantly obvious that peter had a bone to pick with rajat. not to mention kim manis and the entire senior class council. regardless of how you all feel about rajat, the bottom line is that he was treated unfairly throughout this entire process. peter...what a disgrace.

  12. ...  

    i think that it is funny when people make statements like "esc is a disgrace to columbia." i hardly think that anyone outside of the very small number of students involved in student government (G-d bless their hearts) really cares.

    chill, people

    • well  

      it is a disgrace to Columbia. The idea that a branch of columbia student govt. should think themselves so important and mighty so as to be less transparent and less accountable than congress is pretty ass-backward.

  13. NEXT YEAR  

    ESC will have open discussions during internal elections!

  14. who

    gives a fuck.
    why impeach someone when their term ends in one week anyway?

    this is pure ESC personal politics--just one douchebag trying to make another douchebag look bad before they graduate.

  15. SEAS 12  

    Rajat was presented with the charges against him the morning of his impeachment. He did not have enough time to form a case. Nor was he given the privilege of making a closing statement or having a witness testify on his behalf. Peter is using his own interpretation of a technicality to unfairly charge Rajat. This is quite a farce considering the circumstances: less than one day to prepare his case, no closing statement, no witnesses on his behalf. It's as if habeas corpus has been suspended once again...

  16. ...

    Ya, Peter is going on a power trip.

    I am a friend of Peter's and don't know Raj but this whole thing looks like an abuse of power. Especially given the timing at the end of the semester, it seems like a cowardly act by a lameduck president. If Peter really wanted to pick this fight, he should have done it earlier in the semester. It is sort of like how US presidents give out shameful pardons at the end of the term.

  17. even if

    Rajat does nothing else for the Senate at least he's finally getting the Senate some press. The uncontested cc senate elections were just sad.

  18. Why is  

    Raj a douche? I know the guy, and I really don't see anything wrong with him. Sure, he can be a bit toolish at times, but isn't that a prerequisite to be part of student government? Then again, I do support the return of ROTC here, so maybe I'm a douche as well, at least according to Bwog commenters.

  19. DIRECT ELECTIONS

    why does ESC still not let students chose who represent them ????

  20. Peter is  

    a power hungry tool.

  21. excuse me  

    Bwog, I wrote comment 36, and everything in 36 was based on things you reported. Rajat was responsible for the impeachment of a seas senator who was (allegedly) on medical leave last year, publicly advertising a reward for pictures of him at a party. It is common knowledge, indeed reported by Bwog, that he initiated the ROTC nonsense and no other students initiated it. Other students were forced into participating knowing it would fall flat on it's face. And he built a coalition of support by initially keeping out dissenters from the meeting until he was forced to concede. That is why he was a douche, and I know because I was involved, and so were you, so stop censoring things that are true and not hateful.

    • wow  

      I never realized so much drama goes down in the ESC. To my meagre CC mind, it sounds like some sort of CPSU post-Stalin Politburo showdown. Ha! and we all know how that turned out

  22. crazy

    I think its really pathetic how this controversy has reached this height. Whether it was a personal matter that was made a political one or not, the fact is Peter was not the only one to impeach Rajat. So he got impeached, big deal! It must be hard for him to leave his room with two bwog articles, a spec article an 100000 comments all bitch-slapping him. Not saying he has or hasn't made mistakes, but this has been thrown way out of proportion and neither peter or rajat deserve this.

  23. .....  

    i think we're all forgetting what's important here. raj was just straight up BAD AT HIS JOB. call him a tool, a douche, whatever (i don't disagree) but why are you blaming peter or anyone else for putting in check someone who isn't fulfilling his responsibilities?

    get over yourselves! it's ESC and university senate. he's not spitzer, folks.

  24. you wont read this  

    BUT

    Peter what a shame...

    youre such a fuck-ing loser

  25. We in GS...

    ...salute the ESC for providing a foil to our own council's past hi-jinks and present doldrums. The Niko era sets a high bar for drama; thankfully, this year's council was good, and next year looks to be... interesting.

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