On Thursday, news surfaced that Noah Teixeira, current senator from the College of Business, speaker of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada senate and candidate for ASUN president, had used derogatory and racially insensitive language in several online posts. These posts range in age from one to four years old, and have caused outrage on social media, where students run the opinion gamut.
Some are defending Speaker Teixeira, noting that these posts are old and unrepresentative of the man now running to represent all undergraduate students at the University of Nevada, Reno. On the other hand, many are upset, calling for Teixeira to drop out of the race or be impeached from his senate position.
We will not defend his words. Even if the tweets are a couple years old, they are an indictment of character and unbecoming of a man running to represent all undergraduate students at this university — black and LGBTQIA students included.
Teixeira posted a response to the scandal on his personal Twitter account. In it, he talks about how embarrassed and sorry he is for the statements, shifting blame for the words to his “small town” upbringing.
This is no excuse for using language that is so clearly offensive to people who now form a meaningful portion of Mr. Teixeira’s constituency.
On social media, students have asked for Teixeira’s impeachment. Such a trial would take at least a month, and by the time a verdict is reached Teixeira’s term would have already timed out.
Technically, Teixeira hasn’t violated any laws set forth by the Constitution and the Statutes of the Associated Students. The burden of holding Teixeira accountable for his actions lies with the students that he represents.
All ASUN meetings are open to the public, and public comment is welcome. Full senate meetings happen weekly, every Wednesday at 5:30 inside the Rita Laden senate chambers on the third floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union.
If you want to voice your concerns sooner than that, Center for Student Engagement Director Sandra Rodriguez is holding a Q&A session on rights and responsibilities for students and student government on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at noon in the Milton Glick ballroom on the fourth floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union.
There’s also the matter of the elections themselves. If you, as a student, are concerned or upset, voting runs from March 15 to March 16. The best way to participate in student government will always be to vote.