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Student Government investigates President Aaron Blank
In the two-hundred and twenty-five year history of the United States only two Presidents have ever been impeached, Andrew Johnson and William Jefferson Clinton.
In the seventy-two year history of Quinnipiac University never has a Student Government President been up against impeachment proceedings, until now.
On Tuesday, Feb. 13, Michael Miller, Director of the Student Center and Student Leadership Development received a letter from Senior Class Representative Kristen Fischer, suggesting that Aaron Blank, current Student Government President, be impeached.
Accused of actions such as inability to adhere to office hours, inability to preside at weekly SGA meetings, lack of knowledge of Parliamentary Procedure, and many more performance criticisms, Blank is currently under a two week investigation into these allegations, as called for by the Election Policy of the Student Government Association of Quinnipiac University.
The investigation committee, headed by Student Government Vice President of Finance, Heather Josti, began their investigations by announcing to the entire Student Government the situation at hand during their Feb 14 meeting. Along with Senior Class President Michael Roberts, Junior Class President Thomas Fortunado, and Assistant Director of the Student Center and Student Leadership Development Monique Robichaud, Josti will be holding committee meetings throughout the two week investigation.
Though the committee had only met once by last Monday, future meetings will call for personal interviews with anyone the committe feels will help them decide the innocence or guilt of President Blank.
At the end of the two weeks, the committee will disclose their decision to the SGA and a secret ballot vote will be conducted to see if the decision is agreed upon by all SGA members. The majority decision of the SGA will stand.
Many Student Government members are outraged at the thought of putting President Blank through impeachment proceedings.
Freshman Class Representative, Tom Hyde, said, “The overwhelming majority of the Student Government is against the process continuing forward…it is obvious that the motivations were personal and vindictive.”
Fischer justifies the letter by saying, “I feel that these concerns listed [in the letter] highlight some of the problems within the confines of the SGA.”
Fischer goes on to say, “In order for SGA to run well and deal with the real issues on campus, we need to have an Executive Board that functions on an above average level. This is not happening.”
Though most of the Student Government members haven’t seen the letter suggesting President Blank’s impeachment, and though most aren’t aware of the exact allegations towards Blank, Josti urged members, at the Feb 14 meeting, to listen to facts and “not to rumors and heresay,” though limited facts have been disclosed to members other than Executive Officers and Committee members.
Josti went on to say, “This is a very serious matter.”
On Feb. 15. Blank released a statement saying, “I am fully aware of the impeachment proceedings and am confident in our system.”
Other SGA Executive Board members are trying not to form an opinion of the proceedings before being informed of all the facts.
Vice President of Public Relations, Stephanie Wenderoth, said, “I feel the most important factor in making a fair decision is that all SGA members go in open-minded and unbias, and take into consideration the exact charges, the recommendation, personal feelings and vote accordingly.”
Steve Vindigni, Vice President of Programming, is, “confident that we can get through this an a Student Government.”
Hyde goes on to explain his feelings. “This sort of action sends the absolute wrong message to the Quinnipiac community. The impeachment process is a mochary.”
Hyde and his Freshman Class cohorts have done anything but sit back and do nothing to voice their opinion of the process.
“A petition has been started by the Freshman Class,” Hyde said, “to encourage the person [who wrote the letter] to drop the charges and end the embarrassment.”
As of yet, this petition has not accomplished much, but it’s exixtence has been noted by many parties involved.
Now, over a week from when the investigation began, Aaron Blank is continuing on with his Student Government business.
“We shall move on…, ” Blank says. “…And whatever happens the Student Government will always be a powerful force representing the students of Quinnipiac University.”
Aaron Blank, a junior mass communications/political science major, assumed the role of Student Government President in April of 2000, after winning a grueling fight over former Vice President of Administration, Nick DiVito.
DiVito commented, “This is a tough situation.”
Blank has publically acknowledged his plans not to run for re-election. Student Government elections will be held March 7, 2001.