Student Senate looks to remove President Saunders from office, vote tabled for one week

Student Senate President Johnathan Saunders.

Student Senate President Johnathan Saunders.

Tonight, Student Senate met to vote on and discuss the impeachment of President Johnathan Saunders. The senate voted 5-2 and passed a motion to table the vote for one week and had a closed session to discuss the matter and allow Saunders to present information.

To date, the President remains in office and his duties have been passed to Vice President Taylor Hass until the matter is resolved.

“It was brought to our attention that Johnathan had missed enough executive council and senate meetings to qualify for the absence clause in our constitution,” Hass said. “Executive council thought it was appropriate to make the decision to remove him from office, so we did.”

Members from Saunders fraternity, Kappa Sigma, attended the meeting and sat along side him to show their support of Saunders remaining in office.

The senate opened the floor for Saunders to appeal the decision. Saunders immediately requested private counsel with Darren Fullerton, Vice President of Student Affairs.

When Saunders returned to his appeal, he made a request to stay in office but asked for a postponement on the vote on grounds of “new found information.”

“What I’m asking for is someone to put it on the table and we will deal with this next week after certain elements have been dealt with,” Saunders said.

Senator Laurna Alumbaugh quickly made the motion to postpone the vote; senator Mary Duncan seconded the motion. The motion passed and the matter was tabled.

Fullerton made a recommendation to the senate to go into a closed session and allow Saunders to present the new information on grounds to give the senators his information prior to next weeks vote. The senate chose to close session.

No actions were preceded in tonight’s meeting. The senate discussed clauses in bylaws and made the decision that it was best to give every one the week to do their research, understand the situation and come to an educated vote, Hass said.

Saunders used the constitution as grounds for postponement and remaining in office during closed session.

“There is an article that was overlooked that directly contradicts the case of the proposition,” Saunders said. “Proper procedure was not followed and in good conscience I cannot let anything move forward unless proper rules are obeyed … It would be improper to move on without at least a week so people can understand.”

“They [the senate] were not properly informed and deliberately left in the dark and if I were them I would be a little upset. I want to give them the best opportunity to hear the facts, deliberate and not make a hasty decision.”

The senate will vote on whether or not to impeach the president next Wednesday.