The student body president and vice president said they are undaunted by the decision to impeach President Gallop Franklin. The decision was handed down at Monday’s student senate meeting with nine for, 16 against and zero abstentions.
Franklin, 22, a pharmacy student from Tallahassee, said outside factors contributed to the impeachment decision.
“I was impeached because I would not prematurely perform a duty that a particular interest group was pressuring me to perform, which was to appoint a chief justice of the student supreme court,” Franklin said. “It was a minority vote that impeached me and I believe that the minority of the student senate was influenced by this interest group.”
The impeachment sprouted from a motion claiming nonfeasance of duties on the part of Franklin because he has yet to choose a chief justice for the student supreme court. For an SGA officer to be impeached, a one-third vote in favor is needed to pass. According to the SGA Constitution Title 10 Chapter 901.1, “Any elected or appointed officer of the student government may be removed from office by majority vote of students participating in referendum of the Student Government official’s constituency.
Graduate Senator Rondrea Mathis, a 26-year-old English education student from Miami, said she brought up the motion because the absence of a chief justice disturbs the equilibrium of the Supreme Court. Mathis said, “As of now there is no quorum on the court and action had to be taken.”
Mathis said since there is no chief justice to preside over removal hearings as usual, this process will be handled by officers outside of student government.
Franklin said he has been pressured for about four months to select a candidate that was favored by an interest group. He also said his initial selection for chief justice was obstructed because the person didn’t serve the groups interest.
“I believe my appointment was blocked for fear that person may be chosen over their favored candidate,” Franklin said. “This is an important decision and I want to make sure that all qualified persons enter fairly.”
Franklin said this incident would not interfere with his duties.
“I will not allow a minority of the student senate to distort the will of the majority of the student body,” Franklin said. “I look forward to continuing my service as president.”
Student body Vice President Calvin Hayes, 21, a public relations student from Orlando, said he is not worried at all about the impeachment and the decision will not hinder any plans for the Franklin-Hayes administration.
“I am extremely confident that everything will work out fine,” Hayes said. “Gallop has always been concerned with quorum on the court. This will not slow down the administration, we still have to move forward.”
Hayes reiterated that the impeachment issue is not a concern for the administration, which is focused on its future endeavors and initiatives.
“[Gallop and I] have to think about what’s really important and that is to see that the student body of FAMU is served,” Franklin said. “Everything else is secondary.”