Impeachment against SGA president fueled by VP, member says
Student Government Association Vice President Skyler Schmanski is allegedly behind the push to impeach the person he ran with: President Jeanette Morelan.
Katie Wiseman, SGA representative and the point person behind the impeachment process, admitted that Schmanski pressured her to work on the legislation against Morelan. As a member of the cabinet, Schmanski cannot author legislation but can sponsor it.
While Wiseman said Schmanski did not sponsor the impeachment legislation or write a word of it, he pushed her into sponsoring it.
The bill’s authors have not been named.
Wiseman thinks Schmanski is after the presidency.
“He has attempted to manipulate people to get the outcome he wanted,” she said.
Schmanski denied the allegations and contended that he was a neutral party in all matters.
“Because I have to administer proceedings in any nature in congress, I don’t believe in using my position to serve as undue influence on legislation,” Schmanski said.
“I do not take positions on these matters.”
But Wiseman, a freshman, said Schmanski had a very active hand in the conception of the impeachment process. She said he gave the green light for the impeachment process to start, said it was constitutional and had her drum up support from other SGA members.
Wiseman said Schmanski advised her and the group of authors multiple times with the process. They even went to him before the impeachment resolution was written, while they were writing the bill and before the bill was formally submitted, she said.
Schmanski said the impeachment process was not spurred by him but was “congressionally led.” He also said he did not see the legislation until Tuesday, which counters what Wiseman said.
The impeachment process began last week following an SGA Judicial Review Board ruling stating Morelan did not act within the bounds of the SGA constitution.
The impeachment resolution claims Morelan did not submit a resolution demanding a written clarification from university President Bob Fisher concerning his answers to the Q&A session of his Vision 2020 Town Hall Meeting last semester.
The resolution had widespread support from the student body.
While Morelan did not present the resolution on paper to the administration, she met in person with Fisher to talk about it.
“I did express those concerns that were put forward in the resolution,” Morelan said. “I suggested the possibility of some sort of email clarification about the concerns.”
Morelan said she felt Fisher addressed those concerns after the meeting by speaking with student leaders and organizations he may have offended.
Wiseman said that by not taking the physical copy of the resolution to Fisher, Morelan violated the constitution and should have an impeachment trial.
Wiseman said Schmanski put pressure on SGA representatives to maintain their sponsorship of the impeachment bill.
Schmanski even suggested the possibility of offering the sponsors of the resolution the vice presidency in a future administration if the impeachment went through, Wiseman said, adding that she was one of the people he offered it to.
If any candidates did not sponsor the resolution, Schmanski said they would not be chosen because “they wouldn’t have and I quote ‘the balls’ to be a vice president,” Wiseman said, quoting Schmanski.
When approached with the allegations that he was involved in the process, Schmanski maintained that he was a neutral party and that the impeachment was a “congressionally led initiative,” not one driven by him.
Morelan said she is deeply troubled by these allegations about her vice president and running mate.
“If this entire thing was orchestrated because people wanted to play the politics game, then that makes me really disappointed, because I see so much more in SGA,” Morelan said.
“This discredits the organization and all those people who have worked so hard to bring SGA to where it is right now.”
The impeachment resolution will be voted on at SGA’s next meeting on Monday Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. in the media room of the Bunch Library.
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