Editor's note: This story was modified on Nov. 21, 2013, to reflect the correct field of study for Sen. Cameron Murphy.
Sen. Cameron Murphy could be impeached from the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska as a result of racial comments he made at a senate meeting last week.
Murphy, a graduate student in nutrition, will soon face a hearing with ASUN’s executive committee. He’ll have a chance to defend the comments he made at ASUN’s Nov. 13 meeting during debate about whether a proposed resolution was a restriction of free speech. After the hearing, a senate-wide secret vote will determine whether Murphy is removed from ASUN senate.
The hearing was proposed at the weekly senate meeting Wednesday by Sen. Annie Himes, a junior global studies, history and Russian major. After Himes proposed the hearing, senators voted by hand, and it passed. Murphy too voted in favor of a hearing.
“Sure, I’ll vote for myself,” Murphy said while laughing.
Himes, whose proposal was seconded by several people, said she took action because she thinks it is important to stand up for what is right. Himes attempted to stop Murphy from continuing his racial slur-laden speech, which included the N-word, but was told she could not interrupt because of senate debate rules.
The proposal passed while more than 30 students and a few administrators observed the proceedings. Many of the students belonged to the Mexican American Student Association and Afrikan People’s Union. Every available seat was filled.
Dasia Horne, a sophomore child, youth and family studies major, said she is glad Murphy will face a hearing.
“I think it is very important that (Murphy) talks to someone,” Horne said. “He was very loose with his words, and his actions created reactions.”
Andre Fortune, the director of the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, also attended the meeting. He said he attended to show the students who were there that there are administrators who care about them.
“Because of how diverse our campus is, I think it’s safe to say (Murphy’s) opinions represent some students on campus,” Fortune said. “This is a great opportunity for learning to happen and for students of all races or ethnicities to develop and think beyond the things they encounter in a textbook.”
Additionally, two government bills passed at the meeting.
The first bill passed will create a bike share program at UNL. The program is an individual project managed by Thien Chau, a sophomore environmental studies and political science major.
“This program would allow students who don’t own bikes to share at bike stations around campus,” Chau said. “Students can reduce congestion on busses and there are many environmental benefits.”
Chau said he could not promise that this would not raise student fees slightly, but that he is exploring grants and donations first.
The resolution passed unanimously.
Senators also unanimously passed a bill that provides ASUN support to an initiative regarding sustainability and New Student Enrollment. The Environmental Sustainability Committee will collaborate with NSE leaders to promote UNL’s recycling efforts to new students.