Embattled SGA senators avoid impeachment

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Tuesday’s eventful Student Government Association meeting ended with little action on big issues. The proposed impeachment of presidential candidate Sen. Mike Apt (COCJ) by Sen. Robert Ferguson (CS) failed to receive the required 2/3 vote by the senate, along with four other impeachment proposals against senators with fewer charges.

The charges against Apt included a dress code violation, a chamber rules violation, multiple unexcused absences, failure to report office hours, failure to attend the mandatory informational workshop for new senators, and dereliction of duty, according to Senate documents.

Ferguson wrote in the impeachment letter that Apt’s dereliction of duty was showing up late to Bearkat All Paws In and then “[electing] to talk to his fraternity brothers rather than help.” Apt said that he was under the impression that Sen. Cristan Shamburger (CHSS) permitted him to do so, but Shamburger denied that claim during the meeting.

During the discussion of his impeachment, Apt said why he thinks his impeachment was proposed.

“I find it really odd that as soon as I start campaigning, I get impeached,” Apt said. “Be that as it may, I apologize if there are things in here that truly offended you like my dress code and the food and all these things. I honestly do apologize.”

Ferguson said that his intentions for the impeachment had nothing to do with the election.

“Let me make it very, very clear,” Ferguson said. “This has nothing to do with elections because I am not running for any position or anything else.”

Ferguson said that because of his military background, he lived by the rules and saw Apt breaking them.

“We are held to a higher standard,” said Ferguson. “If we cannot follow the rules then how are we supposed to expect everybody else to follow them? à The All Paws In incident was the final straw for me.”

Various SGA members mentioned that this was not the first time Apt has been brought up on impeachment charges, and that his apology Tuesday night was similar to the one he gave last semester after being acquitted of similar charges.

“What Mike said at the end of that meeting was the same thing he said last time,” said Attorney General Josh Beaman. “I say this in support of neither candidate.”

Presidential candidate and Chief of Staff Ramiro Jaime Jr. commented on the proposed impeachment and adequacy of Apt as president.

“[Apt] got impeached last [semester] for the same thing,” Jaime said. “How did [he] not know the rules the second time around? And also, [he] wants to be president?”

Apt said on Wednesday that he talked to Rules and Regulations Chief Steven Perry about making up the mandatory meetings he missed.

“I’m involved in a lot of different student organizations,” Apt said. “I’m not just in the house of SGAà It’s difficult to get in there and attend everything. But I’m making a commitment.”

CAMPAIGN INFRINGEMENTS

According to anonymous SGA officials, Apt broke campaign rules before Tuesday’s meeting by campaigning in the SGA Office located in the Lowman Student Center.

The SGA Election Code states in Article VI Section I that “in all SGA sponsored elections, usage of the SGA Office for purposes of printing out or designing campaign materials, signs or handbills and any other campaigning is strictly prohibited.”

Apt’s official campaign Facebook page was also in violation of the election code. Article VI Section B dictates “campaigning shall be open from the end of the required candidate meeting and shall extend until 8:00 a.m. the morning of the election.” Apt’s Facebook page was created on Sunday, March 17 prior to the required candidate meeting.

According to SGA officials, anyone, including those outside of SGA, can petition to have the election coordinator disqualify a candidate in violation of SGA Election Code.

Elections take place on April 3 and 4.