SGA Discusses Impeachment Amongst Rising Tension

The meeting concluded in 25 minutes and both proposed bills passed on their first reading to the SGA Senate.

Ellen Beshuk, Staff Writer

  UMKC’s Student Government Association (SGA) adopted a new constitution this Monday, which includes impeachment procedures as tensions rise between senators and executives.

  Co-author of the new constitution, Senator Hayley Prins, said there has been a lack of communication and accountability in SGA, and that every form of legitimate government has a way to remove its officers if appropriate. 

  “All of these changes give the senate the capability to enforce accountability and embed proper checks and balances,” Prins said. “These are both basic and essential to any parts of a democratic institution.” 

  However, the president of SGA and head of the executive board, Tim Nguyen, has different thoughts about the new rule document.

  “We’re UMKC, we don’t have to model everything like the U.S. government,” Nguyen said. “The same way we don’t have to model everything like other schools.”

  This is one of many disputes within SGA. Senator Sagi Rudnick said the volunteer senators listen to the student body and advocate more for them than the paid executives. 

  “We have senators meeting with the provost doing the job of the president,” Rudnick said. “We’re not paid and they are.”

  Nguyen said his advocacy can only go so far. After making a request, he said it is out of his hands, and the administration decides where funds will go.”

  “To put blame on someone is the easiest thing to do. All semester, we haven’t had a lot done or passed through legislation,” Nguyen said. “[Executives] can’t write legislation. We can’t do anything as the peanut gallery.”

  Rudnick explained how UMKC needs improvements to dorms, mental health, and parking; yet, money is being spent on concerts and cosmetics for the campus. One idea that was proposed but not approved was having Christmas lights hung around campus. 

  “The fact that we are even considering spending half a million dollars on Christmas lights when there are all of these things people are voicing shows there’s a huge disconnect,” Rudnick said.

  Nguyen said his motivation to host the concert stems from some students being deprived of their high school prom and graduation celebrations due to the pandemic. 

  Even with the pushback he received for the last concert, Nguyen said he hopes to provide the same experience this spring. 

  “Sometimes people are chasing after someone as a person rather than their ideas,” Nguyen said. “It’s one thing if [senators] don’t want to go to a concert, but a larger group of people may want to.”

  Besides the budget disputes, some senators have problems with the president himself, claiming Nguyen’s behavior is negative towards his female colleagues. 

  Senator Ophie Griffin said it is not obvious, “Privately, he will push other women down to raise himself up,” Griffin said. 

  Rudnick said the president’s sexism shows in what he advocates for and who he supports. The treatment of former female executives and disregard of women’s hygienic needs communicate sexism in Rudnick’s eyes. 

 ”He never put actual effort into getting free period products in the bathrooms,” Rudnick said. “I get that he doesn’t menstruate, but that’s no excuse.”

  In posts that have since been removed from his TikTok account, Nguyen used audio clips from Andrew Tate, an internet personality known for his misogynistic views of women.

Nguyen’s posts including audio from Andrew Tate were removed from his page after friends told Nguyen of Tate’s reputation. (Ellen Beshuk/RooNews)

  In another deleted video, the on-screen caption wrote, “Always remember, the first time God punished a man, was because he took the advice of a woman.” Nguyen’s personal caption claimed, “Don’t take their advice, or take it with a grain of salt.” 

  In response to the claims against him, Nguyen said he was not aware of Andrew Tate’s reputation, and took the videos down after friends reached out to him. 

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