By Christian Griffin -Editor
Student Senators and Representatives of the SGA may have been surprised to discover when the agenda for the Tuesday, September 11th meeting listed “Impeachment Discussion.” The Student Government Association President violated SGA policies and brought the matter to the SGA body and was formally impeached and removed from office.
In more than a decade, only three people have violated the SGA policies, but stepped down from their positions, avoiding SGA intervention.
During the Sept. 11th meeting, SGA representatives and senators suspended rules for the hold-time for voting. Typically SGA must wait one-week after a proposal to take a vote. Instead, the SGA body motioned to vote on the fate of the sitting president during the meeting.
There was a closed discussion in which the SGA body was able to ask questions and the President responded. After tense discourse the motion to vote was proposed and seconded.The closed vote resulted in the SGA President being impeached. The vote was decided with no less than a ⅔ majority.
“This is the first time a president has ever been impeached [in the 16 years] I’ve been here,” said Matt Hanlon, Assistant Director of Student Activities.
The president’s removal from office was immediate and following the SGA Constitution’s order of succession made the Vice-President, Erich Behrendt, the new SGA President.
When asked about the meeting Mr. Behrendt said,”My initial reaction was a rush of emotion because this was not just a peer but a friend and a colleague. I never thought… I would assume the role as president in the manner I did.”
Mr. Behrendt’s advancement left a vacancy in the SGA but the Vice President’s seat was not the only opening; the Pro-tempore–commonly called pro-temp was left open. This position is second in line to the VP as senate leader.
Members of the Senate made proposals to fill the vacancies and offered personal introductions and desires for said seats.
In this case, the SGA body waited a week and voted Seamus Headly in as Vice President and Jennifer Llacuachaqui as Pro-tempore.
Students who want to get involved or learn more about SGA can attend the meetings at Dutchess Hall 101 every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.