A.s. to Vote on Group Chair’s Censure

by Staff

The Associated Students Council will decide whether it wants topublicly condemn a student leader for his racially charged comments.

On April 17, the council will vote on a resolution that wouldcensure Ron Gochez, Movimiento Estudiantil de Aztlan chairman, forcomments he made about Jews in a Daily Aztec letter to the editorpublished March 19.

In the published letter, Gochez said “the Jewish-owned mediacontinue to blind the masses with propaganda to keep them in fear.”

The resolution calls upon MEChA to release a statement retractingGochez’s comments since he signed it as chairman of the organization.

A.S. councilmember Reed Albergotti, who authored the resolution,said the purpose of the action is not against MEChA.

“We want MEChA to come out and smooth this over,” Albergotti said.”This is in no way attacking MEChA as a group. This is attacking RonGochez’s actions, his words, his thoughts.”

By a narrow margin, the council voted to postpone the resolutionlast night. It was added to the agenda after the meeting began andseveral councilmembers said it would be unfair to vote if Gochez wasunaware the action would be taking place.

“It’s about Ron. If he’s not here, I don’t think we should betalking about him,” councilmember Josh Miller said. “He has earnedthe right to at least be here and speak on his behalf.”

Councilmembers also wanted to postpone the action until A.S.elections are over this week. Gochez is running for next year’s A.S.vice president of external affairs. In addition, the councilmemberrepresenting MEChA was not at the meeting during the discussion.

“It’s a very bold statement we’re taking — we’re attacking astudent. That’s what this is,” councilmember Casey Hansen said.”We’re attacking a student without telling him first.”

Gochez could not be reached for comment last night. However, hedid speak to the A.S. Council last week and said his comments werenot meant to be a letter to the editor. He said he was responding toa question from a Daily Aztec reporter working on a story about civilrights.

At that meeting, Gochez also denied responding as MEChA chairman.Later that evening, he sent Daily Aztec Managing Editor JasonWilliams an e-mail clarifying that he did sign it in that capacity.

At yesterday’s council meeting, Women’s Resource Center memberDeborah Singer denounced Gochez’s letter and spoke to the councilabout her experiences as a Jewish student.

“I did not realize the people I say hello to and talk to couldhate me for being Jewish,” she said. “I didn’t know that this monsterwas so close.”