Students will probably never know if it was their interest and support that led to Student Government’s decision to end the impeachment hearings Tuesday. But their interest was definitely noted and it helped. Nevertheless, SG should be applauded for making a decision that was fact-based, not dwelling on old rivalries and ending the procedures without drawing them out unnecessarily.
After students questioned if SG senators were attempting to impeach student body president Omar Khan and vice president Ryan Morris based on old feuds more than factual reasons, the problem that preoccupied SG finally seems to be put to rest.
Initially, SG, led by senate president Ryan Caruso, dismissed these allegations before the committees investigating Khan and Morris were formed and promised to have proceedings that were as unbiased as possible.
Students, however, wanted to make sure the persons they elected to represent them were not taken out of office without a just investigation. This, and the surrounding controversy, resulted in an impressive turnout at the SG senate meeting, which standing room only and student crowds extending into the hallway. SG respectively stood by its word.
Some senate members noted in an announcement that the impeachment investigations would end. And the presence of the students helped the senators regain a sense of reality because they often feel detached from the rest of the campus. By having students follow the proceedings closely, SG knew it had to avoid anything that could be construed as bias but also felt its other efforts in the name of the students were validated.
Hopefully, the new interest in SG will result in both a newfound identity for the organization and its role in the campus community, as well as a better turnout for the next student body president election. While the turnout last time was the highest in USF history, it should still be possible to improve it from the 6.5 percent it was last time.
But if the cheers and applause following the announcement Tuesday were any indication, SG has won some respect with students as it proved it could handle even controversial topics in a reasonable manner.