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Thursday, September 23, 2021

In a meeting Thursday night, student senators debated and decided not to impeach Student Body President and Gator Party member Kevin Reilly.

The Impeachment Body, made of student senators elected last fall, met after a resolution was filed by five members of the Orange and Blue Party on Jan. 22, calling for Reilly's impeachment.

The resolution listed six allegations against Reilly, citing involvement in fall's e-mail scandal and failure to meet Student Body Statutes.

At the meeting, senators voted on each accusation to determine if it was factual. If so, a second vote was taken to determine if it was an impeachable offense.

Each charge needed to be approved by a two-thirds majority for both votes in order to be heard by a trial body which would have decided whether or not Reilly remained in office.

One charge was voted to be true but not grounds for impeachment. Reilly took about six months to appoint a chairman for an SG agency that Student Body Statues requires be filled within 14 days of assuming the presidency.

"That is absolutely factually true, but I did so, in my opinion, for the betterment of the student body," Reilly said, adding he waited to receive a satisfactory applicants.

Before voting, senators played tug-of-war over the meaning of Student Body Statutes and Florida's Sunshine Law to prop up or tear down each point brought against Reilly.

Many spoke on the three accusations concerning the e-mail scandal. In the private e-mails, Reilly selected 12 students in a list of Senate seat applicants. Ten later became senators.

Many Gator Party senators said the selections were simply suggestions made by Reilly, who has been involved with SG for three years.

Gator Party Sen. Aaron Ginsberg said the evidence of Reilly's innocence is in the numbers, since only 10 of the 12 names recommended were selected.

But others said the action broke SG's separation of powers.

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Orange and Blue Sen. Dave Schneider, who represents Rawlings Hall, said Reilly should not be influencing the legislative branch.

"'Go' is an imperative," Schneider said. "This is a very active word that is being used."

At one point during the meeting, Reilly sat in the back of the room at UF Hillel, typing on his phone.

"I wasn't really too concerned," he said in an interview after the meeting, adding that this was because most of the charges were false.

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