KU Student Senate votes not to go forward with impeachment of student body leaders

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The Kansas University Student Senate voted Wednesday night not to move forward with impeachment proceedings against Kansas University Student Body President Jessie Pringle, Vice President Zach George and Chief of Staff Adam Moon.

In defending themselves before the Senate, all three officers said a report from an impeachment committee found no allegations of misconduct against them and that their impeachment would set a dangerous precedent of removing officers from office because of unpopularity.

After the vote, Pringle said she was pleased senators established a higher bar for impeachment and that she would be working in her office Thursday morning on behalf of KU students.

Jessie Pringle and Zach George, the 2015-2016 Kansas University student body president and vice president.

Kansas University Student Senate Chief of Staff Adam Moon speaks with Student Body President Jessie Pringle before the start of the senate meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union.

Separate paper ballots were cast on whether to proceed with impeachment proceedings against each officer. It was announced the majority in each case was not to go forward, but no vote totals were shared.

The complicated attempt to unseat the three leaders stems from diversity issues and involves a lengthy list of grievances against them dating back to last spring.

At the Nov. 18 Student Senate meeting, enough senators’ signatures were collected to advance a bill of impeachment against Pringle, George and Moon. The bill featured a list of 17 reasons — filling five pages — arguing why the three should lose their positions.

Some charges carried specific accusations, including an alleged misstep during an April discussion about the Senate’s director of diversity and inclusion, and tweeting support of University of Missouri Legion of Black Collegians without taking “substantive” action to address needs of black students at KU.

Other complaints were broader, such as being the figureheads of an organization that students of color — speaking out at KU’s November town hall forum on race — complained excluded them and did not represent their voices, according to the bill.

Before semester’s end, as impeachment proceedings against them moved forward, Pringle, George and Moon released a list of diversity-related proposals they intend to pursue, including some the Senate already has taken action on.