Former SGA president appeals impeachment process

By Farris Willingham, Editor-in-Chief

The recently impeached Student Government Association president is appealing the trial process.

Emma Velez, political science/philosophy junior, filed the appeal April 17 to the Student Court.

Student senators approved an impeachment resolution April 10 against Velez, charging her with six violations of the association’s constitution.

View more information about the charges and impeachment results here and here.

Velez claims in her appeal letter that Senate faulted four times during the impeachment process

The association’s constitution prevents Velez from appealing the impeachment decision, but she still can dispute the process, said Liz Donnelly, dean of students.

Velez is requesting Student Court members allow her 2011-12 term as Student Government Association president to stand in full.

Velez wrote that she does not want to be reinstated as the Student Government Association president-elect if the Student Court invalidates the outcome of the impeachment trial.

The four procedural errors Velez attests are:

– Senate’s failure to properly inform Velez about an April 3 impeachment hearing, leaving Velez unprepared to defend herself against Senate’s steering committee’s accusations,

– The manner in which senators received the resolution of impeachment,

– Senators approving a charge about election misconduct that was cleared previously by the Student Court, and

– Senators providing inadequate evidence to prove the allegations listed in the impeachment resolution.

The burden of proof falls on the accuser, not the accused, Velez wrote.

“The charges contained within the resolution for impeachment were not properly supported with evidence,” she said.

View copy of Velez’s defense during the impeachment trial here, the impeachment resolution here and Velez’s letter of appeal here.

Robin Ladd, political science junior, said she feels that the evidence provided in the case was sufficient to prove the allegations against Velez.

“We did everything in our power to remain clear and fair,” she said.

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