Outgoing CSUF student president, amid marijuana allegations, gets higher office

Dwayne Mason faced allegations for smoking medical marijuana going to a school event

Dwayne Mason Jr, photo by CSUF
Dwayne Mason Jr, photo by CSUF

Two months after news broke that the CSUF’s student body president Dwayne Mason Jr. was subjected to a disciplinary hearing for allegedly smoking medical marijuana en route to a California State Student Association (CSSA) event, he has been appointed Vice President of University Affairs for the CSSA.

The CSSA announced on Facebook on Saturday that Mason was appointed to the executive officer position at the CSSA, a student advocacy group that serves as a student voice for the 23-campus California State University.

According to an article by my former colleague at the Daily Titan, student and faculty officials at CSUF confirmed that Mason was subject to a disciplinary hearing for alleged medical marijuana use this spring, but those officials did not say what the results of that hearing was.

Mason, then the current ASI president, declined to comment on the allegations. He did not run for ASI President for the 2013-2014 academic year and finishes his year-long presidential term this summer.

According to CSUF President’s Directive No. 1, possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages or other illicit drugs is not permitted on the CSUF campus or en route to or at any university-sponsored event.

According to the Daily Titan, the allegation that Mason had been using medical marijuana took place while driving to Sacramento to represent the university at a CSSA event, which lies under the jurisdiction of the directive.

According to the directive, “All applicable state laws will be enforced by the Department of Public Safety which will refer to the District Attorney for prosecution any student, faculty or staff member found to be in violation.”

California has laws against using medical marijuana for non-specified purposes, although the minimum punishment – for quantities less than an ounce – is an infraction with a $100 fine, according to California Senate Bill 1449.

Aside from the Daily Titan article, the university has not publicly referenced Mason’s hearing or announced the results of that hearing, which was headed by Judicial Affairs.

According to a CSUF security regulations document detailing electronic data, disciplinary actions are specified “Level 2,” an intermediate security level where the information “must be guarded due to proprietary, ethical or privacy considerations.”

Mason during 2013 Homecoming Week, photo by CSUF.
Mason during 2013 Homecoming Week, photo by CSUF.

Still, it seems sadly political for the former ASI president to get appointed to a highly-regarded statewide position after allegedly doing something illegal en route to one of that organization’s events just a few months prior. The university has done a good job of keeping the disciplinary proceedings under wraps, which raises the question: Why is the university trying to hide the disciplinary proceedings of its student president? His public status does not make him “an ordinary student”: he is/was the face of the students as ASI President. Privacy laws for public figures are ordinarily loosened in America, according to media law experts.

That being said, as a Daily Titan reporter, I had the opportunity to talk to Mason several times at CSUF and like how he is active within the campus community.

He told me when I interviewed him in February at CSUF President Mildred Garcia’s inauguration that he was unsure whether he would be involved in more student government roles.

“I have one more year left so I might be still involved, I might want to focus more on career, I’m still deciding that at the moment,” he said. “I’m very grateful for the opportunities that I’ve already had so far, and I look forward to taking that into my future.”

 

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