After last semester’s close-run election for student body president, it looked like the matter was closed and Student Government was under new management. Now the saga continues with an interesting twist: impeachment. It remains to be seen if the entire procedure is even warranted.
In response to a letter of grievance from Bishop Taylor, former director of marketing, SG has formed two committees to investigate if student body president Omar Khan and vice president Ryan Morris have violated 11 SG statutes. A separate third investigation by committee of another SG senator is pending. If the breach of regulations is considered severe enough to warrant impeachment, the committees will issue a recommendation to impeach to the SG senate. The senate will then have to vote on each of the 11 statutes, once each for Morris and Khan, and pass it by a two-thirds majority.
Only then will an impeachment be possible and a decision of the SG supreme court be necessary.
But it seems doubtful the procedure, which may take months rather than weeks, will even make it that far.
Some students have voiced concern about the necessity of the whole endeavor and asked if SG can be trusted to make unbiased decisions. Many of the current senators and SG officials have ties with former senate president Mike Berman, who lost to Khan and Morris in the last election. Some of the senators also share other interests outside of SG, such as fraternities, which raises the question if unbiased proceedings are possible.
SG, of course, claims it will remain unbiased and fair. It remains to be seen if this will be the case, but SG should be aware that some students are watching the process closely.
With a turnout of 6.5 percent at the last SG election, it is difficult to make the case that students have any interest in SG.
Nevertheless, SG controls the spending of A&S funding, currently about $7 to $8 million collected through tuition fees. If students are concerned how their money is being spent, they should follow this investigation closely.
It is to be hoped that SG can look past differences to handle this procedure fairly because it would harm SG’s reputation as a governing body if a major procedure such as this cannot be handled in a professional and impartial manner.
No matter how few students voted in the last SG elections, Khan and Morris were elected by students to represent students. SG should ensure it has strong grounds to override the will of the student body.