ASNMU Chair of the Assembly Chris Germain was removed from his position after a vote of no confidence by ASNMU was passed on February 25. There were 11 affirmative votes, one negative vote and one abstaining voter.
Germain had served as ASNMU’s Chair of the Assembly for the 2007-2008 academic year. The Chair of the Assembly helps find common ground between the executive board and the general assembly-all of those members who are not on the board-said Holly Kasberger, the former Chair of Student Affairs of ASNMU.
“Essentially the Chair (of the Assembly) runs the meeting and is the facilitator of the meeting. The chair approves agenda items and works as the outreach between the president and the representatives,” she said.
The ASNMU General Assembly is composed of academic affairs and student affairs and is separate from the Executive Board. The General Assembly votes, whereas the Executive Board does not, with the exception of the Chair of the Assembly, who acts as a tiebreaker only.
The vote of no confidence was initiated by Kasberger. In addition to the vote, there was a letter authored by Kasberger that was distributed to all ASNMU members, including Germain. The letter called for the General Assembly to remove Germain from his position as chair. Although only her name was on the letter, Kasberger said that others contributed, but declined further comment.
“I hereby ask you the board to issue a vote of no confidence against Christopher Germain, which means we are no longer confident that he can fulfill his duties as Chair of the Assembly and should be removed from his position,” the letter stated. Germain said he wasn’t given a warning before the vote.
According to the letter, Germain was not fully performing his duties as Chair of the Assembly. It also stated that ASNMU members had difficulty communicating with Germain because he often did not respond to members’ e-mails and lacked seriousness when it came to constructive criticism. The letter stated that Germain didn’t promote effective working relationships between members of ASNMU.
ASNMU President Chris Storves did not give any examples or documented cases of the claims made in the letter.
“It is at the discretion of the General Assembly. [The Executive Board] tried their hardest to stay completely neutral in the matter,” he said.
Germain defended his performance regarding communication with other ASNMU members.
“This was quite simply proven false during the meeting,” Germain said. “The representative who made this claim–and there was only one person, but it still made it into the letter–admitted during the meeting that the correspondence in question was personal and in no way related to ASNMU.
“Most representatives will tell you I was very reliable with all correspondence, including having each representative’s number programmed into my personal phone,” he added.
In the same meeting where Germain was removed from his position, Kasberger was elected by secret ballot to serve as new Chair of the Assembly. Kasberger said she has done similar work and is qualified to take on a more challenging position.
“I have experience with running meetings, and prior to being Chair of the Assembly, I was Chair of Student Affairs, which is one-half of the Assembly,” she said.