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Friday, December 02, 2022

Change senators fail to reintroduce Lemasters impeachment resolution

Judiciary Committee first rejected the resolution Sunday

<p>Student Body President Lauren Lemasters addresses student senators over pushes for her impeachment at the Senate meeting Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.</p>

Student Body President Lauren Lemasters addresses student senators over pushes for her impeachment at the Senate meeting Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.

The Change Caucus reintroduced the resolution to impeach Student Body President Lauren Lemasters to the Senate floor Nov. 15 despite its failure in the Judiciary Committee Sunday.

Change first published the impeachment resolution Nov. 3 following Lemasters’ vote in favor of Sen. Ben Sasse as UF’s next president. The Judiciary Committee heard the resolution at its Nov. 13 meeting and decided to postpone the resolution indefinitely, making it highly unlikely the resolution will be heard on Senate floor.

Sen. Joaquin Marcelino (Change-District D) moved to rescind the Judiciary’s decision to postpone the resolution. The motion required a two-thirds majority to pass. After two rounds of pro-con debate, the motion failed in a 43-24 standing vote.

Immediately following the vote, Sen. Mohammed Faisal (Change-District D), Sen. Jonathan Stephens (Change-District D) and Minority Caucus Leader Faith Corbett (Change-District C) made points of order asking an impeachment body to be formed nonetheless, looking for an alternative way for the resolution to formally see the floor. 

They noted the impeachment process as outlined by Student Government governing documents doesn’t require an impeachment resolution to pass through Judiciary.

However, Senate set a precedent for the way impeachment should proceed during previous impeachment processes, including that of Michael Murphy in 2019. In the past, impeachment resolutions have gone before the Judiciary Committee as a first step.

Senate President Olivia Green (Gator-District A) outlined this precedent-based process at the Nov. 8 Senate meeting as well as in personal correspondence to Change, she said.

Green responded to Change’s questions by reiterating she had laid out the impeachment process clearly at the previous week’s meeting: Because the resolution didn’t pass in Judiciary, an impeachment body couldn’t be formed to hear it.

Several rounds of back-and-forth statements between Change members and Green resulted in Green’s final decision to move on without forming an impeachment body or hearing the resolution. 

Although the resolution seemed to be laid to rest permanently, Sen. Oscar Santiago Perez (Change-District D) said this wouldn’t be the caucus’ last attempt at holding Lemasters accountable for her vote.

Contact Alissa Gary at agary@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter at @AlissaGary1.

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Alissa Gary

Alissa Gary is a freshman journalism major who covers student government for The Alligator. You’ll usually find her watching (and talking about) movies, taking care of her plants, or drinking coffee when she’s not reporting.


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