Student government impeachment trial to continue as planned

With the upcoming Thanksgiving break nixing viable school days before the impeachment trial of SGA Vice President Chris Yancy, the original Dec. 1 date at 6 p.m. has been called into question.

Yet according to SGA President Michael Perkins nobody has approached him with proposals or petitions to officially move the date. The location, originally LSC 315, has been moved to a location unknown at press time because of conflicts in scheduling.

Yet some within the university community expressed apprehension at the possible effects the trial could have on the reputations of both SGA and Yancy.

“It doesn’t look good to have an impeachment — it means some people believe something’s gone awry,” Vice President for Student Services and former SGA advisor Frank Parker said. “In this particular case, it’s an opportunity for both sides to be heard. If that’s necessary, it’s necessary.”

“I could question the necessity of it and the quality of the document but that’s just an opinion,” he said. “I’ve seen some things going on that need to be sat down and talked about.”

According to Parker, most of the few impeachment procedures in his tenure as SGA Advisor were based on conflict and disagreements.

“I think that working together and learning to play together in the sandbox is needed,” Parker said.

So far, no formal paperwork has been filed or presented to postpone the trial to a later date – Dec. 8 or 9. According to the SGA Rules and Regulations, a trial must be put on the agenda within three meetings.

“I think that if either side makes a request to postpone the trial, I would think it’s legitimate,” Dean of Students and current SGA advisor John Yarabeck said. “I’ve heard rumors, but you know, we hear a lot of rumors in the Dean of Student’s Office. “Unless somebody comes forward with a petition, formal request, I’d assume it’s happening on December 1.”

Although the Constitution says nothing about the postponing of a trial, except that it must be within three meetings of the original announcement, Yarabeck, as the SGA advisor, does not hold the power to postpone the original trial date as established in the constitution. That power is reserved for Perkins.

“There’s nothing in the constitution that prohibits it, the trial date is set by the president,” SGA Constitution writer Jason Warren said. “[Administrators] can advise them and they can strongly suggest they do one thing or another but it’s not the administration government association and there’s no provision in the constitution to say ‘you can’t do this, you can’t do that, you can’t do that.'”

The campus’s reactions to the trial have had effects on the SGA Senators, as well as Yancy.

“Our senators signed a petition [and have] actually been accosted on campus by various supporters,” Perkins said. “I’ve talked to my senators [and others have] been very disrespectful on campus.”

“The senators are saying they don’t feel safe,” he said. “A lot of senators wanted a closed trial because they fear the reaction of an audience present.”

Of the trial itself, advisors have expressed the need for a fair trial with both sides presenting a case as well as finding a resolution.

“The whole thing that we’re trying to do is be fair to everybody,” Yarabeck said. “Both sides have a right to be heard and that’s how it works in government, like it or not.”

“It all has to be according to the constitution and hopefully what’s best for people in the organization,” he said.

Because Thanksgiving break will be eliminating days before the trial, Parker expressed his views on the problems with timing and the trial itself.

“It just creates fodder for the newspaper, but again I do believe in the process and as long as the process is fair,” Parker said. “I would say they would wait at least a week after break.”

“Sometimes people get the rule but don’t get the application – part of it is intent – is there any purposeful or willful intent to do wrong?” he said. “You have to determine that in your mind, I can’t determine that for you.”

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