The University of Connecticut Undergraduate Student Government held an emergency meeting to discuss the veto on a statement denouncing the Capitol riot and white supremacy.
Wednesday night, the USG Senate voted 24-12-1 in favor of overriding the veto President Hernandez issued last week.
The legislation denouncing white supremacy and the riot of the US Capitol will go into effect immediately.
Undergraduate senators found the veto from President Hernandez to be a confusing surprise.
“I thought USG was about moving forward but this feels like a step backwards,” Jessica Delgado, a USG senator said. “If you are against racism as an organization, I don’t understand why we are debating a veto to make a statement denouncing white supremacy and the capitol riots.”
“I thought usg was about moving forward but this feels like a step backwards.”
Productivity can be an issue in USG according to resigned senate member, Sam Zelin.
“The Senate would often see an issue that would really affect the student body and have these big debates about tiny issues rather than tackling the issue,” Zelin said. “When you veto this bill, you veto a call against white supremacy.”
Some senators showed support for Hernandez’s veto because the statement is too partisan.
“Defund UCPD has too big of an impact to be an issue that a reasonable person can call a semantic issue,” Anissa Jahal, USG Senate member said. “Keeping USG nonpartisan is a goal that should be strived for because we are an organization that is supposed to represent the entire student body, not just one side.”
No amendments or changes were suggested for the legislation before Hernandez submitted his veto.
“When you veto this bill, you veto a call against white supremacy.”
“It’s really exhausting to be a part of USG and it is more exhausting when things like this happen,” Delgado said. “The president, vice president and the chief diversity officer had the time to amend this legislation but never took the opportunity, so we weren’t expecting the veto.”
Damani Douglas, chief diversity officer, supports reinstating the Connecticut Commitment and Defund UCPD, despite being in favor of the veto.
“I did work with Senator Hill and Mack ahead of time to come to a compromise about some of the clauses on the legislation,” Douglas said. “In my own advocacy, I am not in favor of calling people out for not doing more without suggesting more that they could have done.”
“For so long USG has hid behind the safety shield of nonpartisanship, but it is a waste of time to sit idly by and worry about partisanship when the lives of people of color are on the line.”
Senate members voiced concern on partisanship, and said this vote will indicate whether USG remains non-partisan in the future.
“This veto is indicative of what is wrong with this organization,” Darren Mack, Senate member said. “For so long USG has hid behind the safety shield of nonpartisanship, but it is a waste of time to sit idly by and worry about partisanship when the lives of people of color are on the line.”
After the vote was cast, Hill issued their resignation from the USG Senate, citing irreconcilable differences between the current president and themself.