I am not a politics major, however, I am a student at this school who is sick of being cautious about voicing an opinion. If you do not like my opinion, that is completely fine, I am not asking for agreement. I believe that Senate informing Chris Weeks of his impeachment, and then informing the VP of Finance he was next, seems a bit harsh. I do not pretend to know about the actions of Mr. Weeks that may or may not have gone against policy. Purely from what I have observed of the political climate on campus it looks like the impeachment is not as much about Weeks’ actions as it is about Senate not getting their way.
In the article released last week it was reported, “Senate claims that Weeks informed honor board of an alternative funding source for DEB without consulting the rest of senate, thus violating his duties as president.” There should be cooperation within a political body, however the president should be allowed to have some freedom without consulting Senate on every single thing he does. Why does Senate care that an alternate funding source was discussed without being informed? Because for whatever reason that is not the way Senate wanted to get the money in support of DEB. Weeks is impeached with the hope it will make it easier to achieve their goals.
Also mentioned is the fact that Weeks was aware of “senate dissatisfaction” back in the fall. If Senate was displeased back in the fall, why wait to impeach him until his term is almost up? DEB became a bigger political issue in the last couple months, so its passing became increasingly important. To quote junior Jemma Parsons, “Personally, it felt like there had been a lot of scheming going on behind the scenes.” It sure seems that way, especially when it was also reported that “once Huang, Parsons and Weeks had left the room, the remaining senators began the process of filling their positions.”
These details imply that Senate had the impeachment well formed beforehand. “This is about setting a precedent for the future … if we allowed former President Chris Weeks to continually violate the constitution, or to misinterpret it, or to use the constitution in a way that wasn’t intended,” said Senior Class Senator, Kerry Sakimoto, in the Weekly article. If the precedent includes impeachment due to not getting your way, then I am sincerely concerned about the direction Occidental’s student government is heading in the next few years.
Alissa Shear (Junior)