Impeachment Act passage fails in latest SA meeting

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November 5, 2010

12:04 AM

The College of William and Mary Student Assembly’s senate voted against passage of the impeachment bill at its meeting Tuesday.

Several members of the executive voiced their disagreement with the bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Zach Marcus ’12, prior to voting on it.

The bill would add language to the SA code allowing for the impeachment of any elected or appointed member of the SA executive and review board by the senate.

In response to the bill, SA President Chrissy Scott ’11 noted a situation in which a senator would want to force a member of the executive to perform a certain action which he or she was unwilling to perform.

“The options of a veto or an impeachment are essentially the same — either the senate can override the veto with a three-fourths vote, and then it will be my duty to carry out the legislation, or the senate can impeach the member with a three-fourths vote,” Scott said. “But finding a capable replacement secretary who will also carry out the action can take weeks longer than the veto option. In the end, the student body doesn’t care about our internal affairs. They want to see bills and see things getting done to help them.”
Review board member Allen Blehl ’14 said the bill was clearly unconstitutional.

“You cannot fire a person you never hired — therefore it would be unconstitutional for the senate to do this,” he said. “Furthermore, the executive, being the president, would realize if something was going wrong with one of her secretaries and should have the leeway to ask that person to resign. Furthermore, if the senate is looking for oversight of the executive branch, the senate does not need direct impeachment. The senate has committees, which can ask members of the executive to come before them and testify.”

The executive will undergo a full departmental evaluation, which SA Vice President Kaveh Sadeghian ’12 suggested would raise accountability.

Scott said she would offer to regularize reviews of the executive as a compromise to granting impeachment.

The senate ultimately rejected the impeachment bill by a 12 to 5 vote.

Marcus’s Uncensure Act, which aimed to remove the censure put on Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Mark Constantine for a misappropriation of funds, also failed.

Sen. Ryan Ruzic’s J.D. ’11 Constitutional Confirmation Clarification Act passed unanimously.
Appeals Committee nominees Asha Williams ’12, Alice Yeh ’13 and Ian Garbarine ’12 were all confirmed.

Sens. Mike Young ’11, Curt Mills ’13 and Ruzic introduced the FOIAs for All Act, which would establish a large fund to assist students in paying the fees involved in making Freedom of Information Act requests.
Young and Mills also introduced the Bring Mark Mathabane Act in an effort to bring Mathabane to campus. Mathabane is a former South African tennis player and author of the auto-biographical book “Kaffir Boy,” which chronicles his struggles as a black South African under the apartheid regime.

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