SGA moves to impeach comptroller, unable to hold deciding vote

Kate Baxendale

A motion to impeach Comptroller Makayla Maslanka was made Sept 30 at the Student Government Association meeting. The motion was seconded but after two hours of debate, representatives were still not ready to vote and continued the debate.

During the debate, a senator left the meeting, putting SGA below quorum, the required number of representatives in attendance to hold an official vote.

Ten SGA representatives, including President Benjamin Campero, Executive Vice President Parker Webb and Administrative Vice President Katherine Corwin, signed a memo calling for her removal stated that Maslanka overspent the Student Activity Fee Budget (SAFB) by $109,198.50. The memo claimed that this was sufficient cause for impeachment according to Article XII of the SGA Constitution.

Campero claimed that Maslanka had failed to provide an accurate SAFB amount after the SGA executive board inquired about it several times. In his statement Campero said Maslanka had received the budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year at a meeting on June 6. This budget, amounting to $950,000, was approved by Vice Chancellor Mel Tyler.

The memo said, “…her actions could publicly harm the credibility of the Student Government Association as well as the SAFC.”

During the meeting, Maslanka admitted to losing this fiscal report, and not asking the executive board for help when it was “obviously” needed. Maslanka admitted partial fault to the over-allocation, but said others were to blame as well. She noted exaggerated budgets received from student organizations as a contributing factor to the financial mishap.

Maslanka said she “came in losing” as comptroller because former Comptroller Katie Carlino’s had misused last year’s SAFB. Maslanka said she was not given sufficient warning of the proposed impeachment, but Campero claimed that she had been asked to resign from her position several times. Maslanka said the mistakes were made due to “miscommunication” within SGA and SAFC.

During the debate, Campero cited a Facebook post Maslanka had made which revealed budget information from a closed meeting. He said that she was late to SGA’s orientation, and that she was often late or unresponsive to emails from the executive board and other student organizations. This lack of email correspondence was contradictory to SGA’s promise to reply to all requests within 24 hours, Campero said.

Campero also claimed he was unaware that Maslanka was in need of help. He said the actions of the former comptroller were irrelevant to the current financial situation, and that Maslanka had failed her task to provide updates on the budget.

Maslanka responded with an apology for her Facebook post, claiming it “slipped her mind” and it was a “silly mistake.” She also noted that SAFC had been forming a solution to the problem before Campero started working on one.

According to Campero, in addition to over-allocating the $109,198.50, Maslanka allowed for additional funds to be distributed to student organizations. He said the over-allocation also meant SAFC wouldn’t be able to approve event-by-event funding. The memo said “The Student Activity Fee Committee is now tasked with recovering $150,219.02.”

Earlier in the meeting, SGA discussed a resolution to fix its financial problems based on the over-allocation.

SGA voted to cut 14.18 percent cut from the annual budget of every student organization and council. This cut would generate $41,000 event-by-event funding requests for the rest of the school year. The Student Senate passed this resolution with an overwhelming majority.

This resolution to take a substantial cut from council’s and organizations has since been rescinded. Campero presented an official memorandum to Tyler on Oct. 7 asking him not to sign the resolution.  SGA has since been working with administration to find an alternative to the 14.18 percent budget cut.

The motion to impeach Maslanka was tabled. The discussion will continue at the Oct. 14 SGA meeting.