Office of the Dean of Students halts Student Government impeachment trials

Mackenzie Sullivan, News Reporter

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the Jan. 21, 2022 flipbook.

The Office of the Dean of Students blocked Student Government from proceeding with the impeachment trials of executive board members Kiara Kabbara, Grant Marconi and Madison Brown on Wednesday.

Braxdon Cannon, speaker of the assembly, said he received an email containing the office’s decision Wednesday and notified other SG representatives. 

In late November, universitywide representative Amanda Garcia and LBJ School representative Walker Adams drafted articles of impeachment for the removal of Student Body President Kiara Kabbara, financial director Grant Marconi and communications director Madison Brown after their refusal to resign following a vote of no confidence

In a statement to The Daily Texan, Sara Kennedy, director of strategic and executive communications, said that after reviewing the articles of impeachment, the Dean of Students Office found SG could not proceed with impeachment trials because the constitutional standard for removal was not met. 

“The standard for impeachment requires showing that the presented evidence substantiates material failure of the position duties and responsibilities mandated in the Student Government constitution,“ Kennedy said. 

Adams said although the office’s decision did not surprise him, he was disappointed that the administration did not give SG a space to hold members accountable.

“Continually, the Dean of Students Office has come in and tried to intimidate people into not proceeding with these impeachment articles,” Adams said. “They found an option that ultimately ends due consideration of impeachment entirely, and so they’re going to seize on that option.”

Adams said SG members have a duty to listen to student input and respond to calls for abolition and reform. 

“That outrage will continue to motivate legislative actions,” Adams said.

Kabbara said she is excited to move forward and accomplish items from her platform.

Garcia said there are other ways to hold the executive board accountable, and representatives who abstain or vote against Kabarra’s new executive board appointments could send a message that they do not support the executive board.

“If we don’t agree with (Kabarra’s) administration, and what she and the rest of her executive board stand for in terms of being complicit with abusers and apologists and actively harming the survivors who used to be on their executive board, why would we trust them and their appointments to continue to do the work that her previous executive board wasn’t able to do?”  Garcia said.

With impeachment no longer occurring, Cannon said the best approach going forward is to focus on collaboration among representatives.

“I think this is a great conversation starter for how we can best work on reform, since this looks like it will be one of our only options,” Cannon said. “I think that’s the best way to move forward.”

Kevin Roberts, a College of Liberal Arts representative, said he’s working on legislation to reform SG so the organization can be held accountable in the future.

“We’ve been trying to really address the issues of our organization, procedure and rules-wise, just to make sure that things run smoothly and to make sure that we have better ethics,” government junior Roberts said. “That way, we don’t have this happen again and we can hold people accountable.”