Life goes on for the Student Government Association and its president, Aaron Blank, after members of the SGA voted to clear Blank of the impeachment charges brought against him. A 25-member majority voted to clear Blank of any wrongdoing at the SGA’s Feb. 28 meeting. 12 voted in favor of putting guidelines in place to ensure Blank follows his duties admirably for the remainder of his term.
The charges against Blank stemmed from a letter received on Feb. 13 by Michael Miller, Director of the Student Center and Student Leadership Development. Penned by senior class representative Kristen Fischer, the letter suggested that Blank be impeached.
Accusations included the inability to adhere to office hours, inability to preside at weekly SGA meetings, and lack of knowledge of Parliamentary Procedure.
A two-week internal investigation was launched and spearheaded by SGA Vice President of Finance, Heather Josti. Josti reported the findings of Fischer’s inquiry to the SGA on Feb. 28.
“Our investigation has found some of the concerns brought forth to the committee to be relevant. These concerns relate to a lack of effectiveness and presiding over weekly SGA meetings. Our recommendation is for the following to occur…”
Those recommendations included:
Blank must attend weekly meetings with Michael Miller to critique his performance at previous SGA gatherings and discuss ways to make them more effective. Secondly, Blank must submit in writing, his intentions for the use of Robert’ Rules of Order and Parliamentary procedure at weekly SGA meetings. Finally, the agenda for SGA meetings must be completed in advance.
After the recommendations were read, all SGA members were given secret ballots to vote to accept the new guidelines placed forth by the committee, or to deny it, meaning the whole case is thrown out.
“While I don’t feel that everyone had the proper information, a decision was made to the best of everyone’s ability,” Fischer said. “Perhaps everyone can learn a lesson from this and maybe people won’t be afraid to speak up in the future if they are not happy with what is going on in their organization.”
It should also be noted that actual impeachment was not in question at the time of the vote. This was also the first time in Quinnipiac University history that a Student Government President has faced impeachment charges.
Before the vote took place, Blank read a statement, saying, “There are hours in people’s lives where trying times develop one’s weaknesses into strengths. These past two weeks have been trying times for our student government.” Blank went on to say, “I have done nothing illegal.”
The majority of the SGA agreed with Blank, and once the votes were finalized in his favor, the President declared it was “time to move on to campus issues.”