By Elizabeth Newby, Columnist
By now, everyone is well aware that the Student Senate meeting last week was basically an episode of All My Children.
Emma Velez, Student Government Association president, was impeached based upon constitution violation charges.
Honestly, I think it would be kind of awesome to get impeached from an office. Velez could have really gone out with a giant, badass middle finger, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.
Her “illicit affairs” are no comparison to Watergate. She didn’t engage in any “sexual relations.” Her actions were like little firecrackers that somehow lead to a catastrophic explosion.
The charges made against her were really not that extreme. Yeah, she “accidentally” bought some iPads (What does that even mean?), but, in my opinion, SGA as a whole throws around student funds like they’re trying to make it rain.
In fact, as any student probably knows if they’ve ever had a friend involved in student government, I’m fairly positive that former presidents have exhibited the same sort of behavior as Velez. Even former presidents that were present at the meeting last Tuesday.
As it has been reiterated many times, Velez still violated the constitution, which is why the meeting was held, as uncomfortable (or Twitter-hilarious) as the situation may have been. With upholding these charges, members of Senate are making actions transparent and upholding what is fair and balanced, or something like that.
Ironically, as stated on Mediaocu.com, Senate violated their own bylaws when they chose to close chambers and vote on the matter in private.
Also, if the Senate ever wants to suspend the rules, a motion must be made and the movement must be approved by a two-thirds vote. In my understanding, this has been the argument made to uphold Senate’s decision to close the chambers and cast a private vote. According to SGA’s constitution, they can close chambers and, in this case, deliberate their decision, but the vote must still be publicly cast.
But according to the minutes, no motion to suspend the rules was ever made and no vote to suspend the rules was ever cast. The resolution’s approval received a two-thirds vote itself, but in no way does this apply to the suspension of the rules and closing of chambers.
But Senate’s ethically questionable decision to remove members of the student body (that they are supposed to be representing) from the chambers was so they could be completely honest and up front with their peers, right? Wait, I think I’m confused.
Apparently, members of the Senate felt uncomfortable and somewhat threatened. I think a music theater major threatened to beat them up outside Dulaney-Browne Library.
I’ve yet to hear of a senator admitting to the potential of mistakes in the impeachment process, even though the resolution was suppose to strictly uphold the rules of the constitution.
It is also my understanding that Velez was essentially blindsided with the claims against her in a hearing about the resolution, and had a matter of a few days to prepare for the impeachment process.
I don’t know if student government is supposed to promote learning or radical political moves, but if it’s the latter, I’m declaring student body anarchy until each senator proves himself or herself to be mistake-free and without personal bias.
My opinions may seem extreme, but so were the consequences of the accusations. Personally, I couldn’t care less who our SGA president is, but as a student of this university, I think we all should be critical of the process of an association that allocates funds for tens of thousands of dollars.