Photo composite by KRISTEN POWELL / THE EAGLE
A week after the first impeachment proceedings in the Student Government’s history, President Andy MacCracken said he’s looking forward to moving the SG past the episode.
In an executive order signed Wednesday by MacCracken, when Handverger leaves office, SG Vice President Alex Prescott assumes control of the SG’s financial accounts and MacCracken assumes control of the Comptroller’s cabinet—which includes AUTO.
“I’m just very happy that we can move on from this and move forward with the year in a big way,” he said.
MacCracken hopes to hear student input on issues like the university’s new shuttle bus routes and its H1N1 policy, he said.
“Overall, this didn’t stop progress on those issues,” he said.
While the proceedings ended early Friday after the impeachment charges against SG Comptroller Matt Handverger were dropped and he agreed to resign, MacCracken said the impeachment process should be revised.
“I would give more structure to the impeachment process,” he said. “I have to commend [Speaker of the Undergraduate Senate] Anthony Dunham, for spending the time that he did in trying to create as fair a trial as possible.”
Dunham called it “a little bit daunting” to be thrust into the impeachment trial since he just became speaker in late July.
“It’s a good experience to have to step out there and do something that’s unprecedented,” he said. “Hopefully it’s something we won’t ever have to do again.”
MacCracken likened the impeachment proceedings to regular infighting that occurs each year in the SG.
“It seems every year that there is some conflict—some drama to arise within Student Government,” he said. “This year it fell to the office of the comptroller.”
Class of 2010 Sen. Josh Rothman, one of the complainants during the trial, dismissed allegations that the impeachment proceedings were a witch hunt against Handverger.
“We weren’t looking to nail somebody in the executive,” he said. “Evidence was brought to us that suggested some major misconduct and we wanted to deal with that.”
The impeachment process could be reformed in a matter of weeks, Rothman said. A bylaws omnibus bill could be brought through before the adjournment of the fourth Undergraduate Senate, which has four remaining sessions.
The bill could possibly contain provisions that spell out the entire impeachment process—a process that was not completely clear last week.
Handverger’s resignation is effective 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10.
While MacCracken has power to appoint Handverger’s replacement, he opted for an open application process that includes a two-page questionnaire. Details on how to apply to be the next SG comptroller will be available in the next day or two, MacCracken said.
In the future, Dunham hopes the Senate worries more about issues facing the student body instead of internal issues.
“There’s so many issues out there,” he said, “that if we continue to turn ourselves inward and nitpick at every little thing that we find wrong with ourselves, we could spend the entirety of our undergraduate career fixing what’s wrong with the student government and not giving two cents about what the students want and what the students need.”
However, Dunham added, “these things happen.”