Student Government Association President Zahraa Saheb returned on Thursday to leading the organization’s weekly meeting, six days after the impeachment document against her was deemed invalid by a campus official.
An impeachment petition was given to Saheb on Feb. 2 by then-Chief Justice Mason Standish, who resigned his position on Feb. 16.
The petition was signed by seven representatives (Heather Birge, Cameron D. Bennett, Crystal N. Webb, Kevin K. Blake, Robert A. Contreras, Nasrullah Sailab and Clarissa M. Murillo), as well as Vice President Kelsea L. Coker, Head Representative Sachiko U. Jayaratne and Treasurer William O. Wick. Secretary Nicole L. Gillihan did not sign.
Saheb promised on Feb. 9 to fight the impeachment, saying that she believed an “injustice” had been done to her.
In an email sent out to all SGA members on Feb. 24, Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students Dennis Hall wrote that Saheb had been “reinstated into her position as President immediately.”
“Someone felt forced into signing” the petition, Hall wrote. After that, a plan was developed “for it to become applicable again through the personal statements . . . After giving deadlines for the personal statements, not enough support was given to be able to pursue impeachment currently.”
A new attempt at impeachment, Hall wrote, “includes the requirement of an impeachment document that is signed by ¾ of the voting members of SGA.”
At Thursday’s meeting, Saheb said she hopes that before the April elections she can get the SGA constitution ratified; she also hopes to have an SGA Week for the campus and will continue to work on the travel abroad scholarship.
“It’s always an honor to serve the student body,” Saheb said.
William Wick was announced as the new SGA chief justice after a closed-door 30-minute meeting. Several SGA members left the meeting looking angry or crying.
Before the meeting, Wick said that he was no longer setting up an impeachment hearing.
“Student government is not a department, student government is a student organization, therefore student government falls under the student handbook for student organizations as so we are under student engagement,” said Wick.
Michael Brown, who was appointed as an SGA member at large in February, said he does not agree with the decision to not continue with impeachment proceedings. Brown ran for president against Saheb last spring.