By: Gerard Albert III/Assistant News Director
Despite mounting pressure from the senate, Carolina Gonzalez, comptroller of the Student Government Council at the Modesto Maidique Campus, says she will not resign.
On Monday, Oct. 1, Gonzalez, who signed a contract that gave herself and others paid positions in student government, appeared before the senate to answer questions surrounding her future involvement in student government. Unlike former SGC-MMC President Jose Sirven and SGC-MMC Senator Javier Ortiz, who have resigned, Gonzalez told senate she wishes to remain in her position.
“I’m going to continue doing my job,” Gonzalez said to the senate. “I’m here right now trying to answer the questions. I should be held accountable if needed but I also feel like I’ve been doing my job and the contract was destroyed that same night.”
Gonzalez, a member of FIViews, said she reached out to FIYOU for a meeting, where it was decided they would merge the parties and the contract was written. The contract, according to Gonzalez, was then sent out to a group chat that included former president Sirven, an FIYOU alumni and Sabrina Leeloo Rosell, who was running for vice president at the time.
Gonzalez and Sirven both said the initial contract was destroyed the night it was created, but did not respond for comment, after multiple attempts by Student Media to discuss the contract’s destruction.
Gonzalez said that her current position is not the same as the one stated in the contract: Chief of Staff, and that the senate still appointed her before knowing about the contract.
Senators replied that regardless, she was still placed in a paid position with the same salary. Senators responded that if they had known about the contract earlier, they would not have appointed her.
After 22 minutes of questioning, Senator Rose Ingraham and Peter Hernandez motioned to vote on moving forward with an impeachment trial. The motion did not pass.
The senate is exploring other disciplinary methods according to Ingraham, who met with Gonzalez after the senate meeting.
Meanwhile, Rosell was sworn in as president, squashing any doubts the senate had about Sirven retracting his resignation.
In a separate interview Rosell said that while she was in a group chat where the contract was shared, she was not present during the writing and signing of the contract. She knew the contract was ethically wrong but did not act on it, she said.
“My lack of action was wrong,” said Rosell. “There’s no going around that.”
It’s unclear if she violated ethics codes by not disclosing her knowledge of the contract. As it is stated in Article Eight Section 8.02 (k), “Student Government Officials must disclose all knowledge of corruption in the Student Government Association.”
Rosell said that she thinks she should be held accountable, which is why she relinquished her power to choose a candidate for Vice President to a committee comprised of executive board members from different Student Affairs councils including Homecoming, Black Student Union and all four Greek councils.
PantherNOW will continue to follow this developing story.