The All-Campus Judicial Council has unanimously upheld the impeachment of freshman Senator Chizoba Umesi for violating attendance policies. Umesi argued on Friday that the Students’ Association Senate violated Article V, Section 4 of the bylaws, which can place senators who violate the attendance policy on the agenda for removal. He also argued that the Speaker and Deputy Speaker did not request attendance records until the middle of November, causing a lag time between Umesi’s absences during the first three weeks of his term and his removal from office on Nov. 16.
It can be argued that the Senate should have vigilantly watched the attendance records. After all, students do have the right to know whether or not their elected representatives are showing up to mandatory meetings. But the rarity of these impeachments shows that most senators are already aware of the responsibilities that come with elected office. Micromanaging should not be a priority for the SA Senate.
Another part of Umesi’s argument was that senator obligations were not properly explained to him. In Umesi’s opinion, the language used by the Projects and Services committee chairs, along with Senate leadership, was not explicit enough. Even if the Senate did not make this clear, every senator should take the initiative to know his or her individual responsibility to the student body. Proactive senators who take the initiative to learn their responsibilities will, for the most part, not have a problem.
Friday’s hearing in front of the All-Campus Judicial Council seems to be an anomaly in our student government’s world. However, this situation may very well serve to remind Senate the importance of internal communication, as well as serve as an example to all future senators to stay active and be aware of their responsibilities.