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Friday, September 24, 2021

UF SG senators raise allegations of misconduct, slander, corruption

Student Government SG Generic
Student Government SG Generic

Heads buried in laptops and cell phones bolted upright when Senator Nikolas Bindi (Inspire, Liberal Arts and Sciences) called the UF Student Government Senate out on Tuesday night.

“I don’t know how you sleep at night,” Bindi said of the Senate’s behavior in the past weeks.

The Inspire caucus brought misconduct allegations against two Impact senators: Information and Communications chairwoman Meryl Jones (District A) and Budget and Appropriations committee member Audrey Wikan (Sophomore).

Inspire asked for the removal of Jones and Wikan from their respective committee appointments. Both motions failed in a vote of 30-55 and 31-54, respectively.

Senate Minority Party Leader Ashley Grabowski (Inspire, graduate) said Jones provided additional points of information to members of her own party in order to gain an advantage in gaining committee seats. She also said Jones did not send emails to implement live-streaming in the chambers. Jones did not address this accusation.

Jones said the information she provided to potential committee members was directly from the committee description.

Grabowski said Wikan falsely identified herself as the district secretary for District 31 Representative Jennifer Sullivan when applying to the committee.

Wikan provided 50 copies of a letter by Sullivan that listed her activities to include administrative tasks and budget maintenance.

“While serving as my intern, she had the opportunity to work alongside others in my office as she was getting trained in the district secretary position,” Sullivan wrote.

Majority Party Leader Tony Emmett (Impact, District B) said Inspire Party’s actions were disrespectful and undermined Senate President Libby Shaw and Pro Tempore Emily Dunson.

“Why would we as a party want to work with people with such negative attitudes toward us?” Emmett said.

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