ASBSU to hold hearing for potential impeachment of President Angel Cantu

Photo by Mackenzie Hudson

The ASBSU ethics committee met Wednesday, Oct. 27 to determine whether impeachment proceedings against Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) President Angel Cantu would be brought to the student assembly and academic senate.

Cantu posted a youtube video on Nov. 1 explaining the accusations from ASBSU members for bigotry, misogyny, racism and promoting white supremacy. Ethics Officer Kenneth Huston, received an official document from ASBSU executive members and other peers on Oct. 23 outlining the complaints and charges against Cantu. 

“The contents of the complaint accuse him [Cantu] of some very serious conduct issues in his capacity as student body president, and as a member of our Society,” Huston wrote in an email to ASBSU members.

The Arbiter was unable to obtain the official documents at this time.

The Academic Senate and Student Assembly will meet Nov. 4 at 4:30 p.m. to hear the charges and vote on whether Cantu should be removed from his position.

“I have always supported our community’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, but I will not support or promote ‘cancel culture’ or extreme rhetoric,” Cantu said in the Youtube video. “I believe we can support our marginalized communities without submitting to these dangerous behaviors.”

A link to a Google Drive with documents that outline Cantu’s email exchanges with ASBSU and  Inclusive Excellence Student Council (IESC) members was added to the video’s description. 

The link contains four attachments, including an email thread from July 2020 about the Boise Police Department’s contract with Boise State, a letter from Cantu to members of the IESC, an email thread regarding Big City Coffee on campus and a letter from Cantu to ASBSU members about the impeachment hearing.

In recent weeks, there has been resentment from some students about Big City Coffee replacing the Starbucks in Albertsons Library. The feelings within ASBSU are due to the coffee shop posting a screenshot of a student’s Snapchat post that was then posted to Big City Coffee’s Instagram.

Other students have also felt that the coffee shop using Thin Blue Line imagery, a type of flag used to show support of police officers and law enforcement, that has historically been used as a counterprotest to the Black Lives Matter movement, was creating an unsafe environment for marginalized communities on campus.

Cantu wrote in an email to ASBSU members regarding Big City Coffee that any legislation created by ASBSU had to have substantial evidence as to the reasoning for the requested removal.

“With that being said, I cannot speak to the rhetoric of other comments made by this company and if a large number of Boise State students do not want this company to be contracted with our University, I will support any legislature condemning it, with the only condition being that the legislation presented display a pattern of derogatory behavior toward our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous People of Color) community by Big City Coffee. I will not, however, support any legislation that uses ‘sympathy toward first responders’ as its sole reason for removing Big City Coffee,” Cantu wrote.

Responses to Cantu’s stance were about their disappointment in his role as ASBSU President to “uplift and advocate for students of the best of our shared capacity, ensuring to keep the most marginalized intersections of identity at the center of our decision making.”

In Cantu’s email to ASBSU and IESC members about Boise State’s contract renewal with Boise Police Department (BPD), he spoke about his apprehension with local activists spreading the message to send President Marlene Tromp emails asking for the removal of BPD on campus.

“I need ya’ll to chill out on this social media campaign going on to stop contract extensions with BPD because there seems to be a lot of misinformation that delegitimizes us as student leaders because it makes us look like we don’t know what we’re talking about,” Cantu wrote in the BPD contract email chain.

Cantu’s main concern was that ASBSU and IESC would ruin their relationship with Tromp. Responses to his email focused on the harmful language used and one response said, “this is likely far from your intention, but your impact is telling vulnerable, impacted, marginalized students who advocate for their wider communities to play small and stay silent.”

According to Cantu, he created the Youtube video not to insight retaliation to ASBSU members but for students to share their thoughts and feelings about decisions being made on campus.

“As Boise State students, share your thoughts and opinions with your student representatives, they represent you and your voice should be heard. Please help me promote moderation, civil discourse, pragmatism and diversity in thought,” Cantu said. 
This is an ongoing story and will be updated with more information as the story progresses. For those wanting to attend the ASBSU Academic Senate and Student Assembly meeting on Nov. 4, the link to the Zoom meeting is on the ASBSU website.

Photo by Mackenzie Hudson | The Arbiter
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