SGA impeachment vote in limbo

The impeachment hearing continues on despite senate plans on vote
Caption: ktvdidthat on instagram

As time passes, more details about the impeachment case involving the next Student Government Association president and vice president have emerged.

In an attempt to hold a fair trial, a bill was passed in the Student Senate stating that only a one-third vote was necessary for the impeachment to go through. One day before the scheduled vote, the SGA’s judicial branch deemed the bill unconstitutional.

Loryn May, the president-elect, and Dakarai “DK” Williams, her vice president, had an impeachment filed against them based on misfeasance and malfeasance of duty for allegedly falsifying documents to be eligible to run for office.

The document in question is a signed resignation letter by May, on behalf of her running partner Williams.

Typically, anyone who holds a position in the Student Senate and wants to run for a future position must resign 10 days before the declaration of candidacy. According to the timeline provided by the Judicial and Rules Committee, all candidates had a timeframe of Feb. 5-7 to resign with no punishment. Williams failed to comply and resigned on February 8, according to the Judicial and Rules Committee.

The Judicial and Rules Committee recognized that Williams missed the deadline and in lieu of removing them from the ballot, offered the pair an option to run as write-ins, to which they declined.

In the meantime, May and Williams sought advice from the attorney general and the judicial branch, to which Williams submitted a document as evidence that he did in fact resign on time.

Approximately a week later, May, who was not required to resign due to being a nonvoting member, submitted an almost identical document. However, this time, the form had her signature on the bottom.

Judicial and Rules Committee chairman Larry LaFrance says the second submission of the letter is what alerted the committee that something may have been wrong.

“They presented evidence that we had not previously seen based off of the first two hearings with the electoral commission,” LaFrance said. “They submitted a document with Loryn’s signature on the bottom, which was not on the first document, plus most people submit their resignation via email, not a signed paper.”

There has been speculation that the impeachment has already failed, but this proves to be false, as the Student Senate has yet to vote. Senators were set to vote Monday evening during their weekly meeting but failed to assemble a quorum, rescheduling the meeting to next week.

Once the evidence is presented to the student senators, they will cast a vote, and based on the results, two things could happen. If the vote favors impeachment, May and Williams will no longer be able to serve in their elected positions. When the new Electoral Commission is appointed by the current SGA president, Londe Mondelus, a new ballot will be sent out. If the evidence does not hold up in the trial, May and Williams will serve as expected.

A second-year health science student who wishes not to be identified said they are stunned by the entire process and believes justice should be served.

“I believe the pair ran an amazing campaign and recognize that they worked very hard, but we can not undermine the lack of detail to small things such as resignation dates,” the student said. “There is no other option than to handle the matter with an approach that is fair to all parties involved.”

With just a few weeks left in the spring semester, there is a chance that this impeachment will be dragged into the fall.

Donovan Lowe, a third-year business student, believes May and Williams won their race fairly and should be able to serve next academic year.

“I’m not sure why this is still a thing when there has never been valid evidence supporting any claims against them,” said Lowe. “I think people need to move on and allow them the space and support they need to plan for the upcoming school year.”

For updates on the impeachment, attend Student Senate meetings held every Monday at 6 p.m. in the senate chambers.