UT Austin student government members face impeachment

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Four members of the student government board of the University of Texas at Austin have resigned over allegations of sexual assault and repeated calls for more transparency and accountability, The Chronicle of Austin reported. Three more members of the board are at risk of indictment at the start of the spring semester.

The seven members of the executive council were first criticized in October, after a student posted the student government budget on social media, asking for transparency on his figures. The budget showed that board members set aside $ 30,000 for their own tuition fees while only allocating about $ 16,000 for scholarships, the the Chronicle reported. Students then began to question the student government’s relationship with the Tejas Club, a social organization of college men, which came under scrutiny in October after some club members were accused of sexual assault and attempted cover-up, according to the the Chronicle.

During a discussion on Twitter Spaces, two board members, Mackenzie Smith and Meera Sam, pledged that the student government would disaffiliate from the Tejas Club, but the board did not issue any statement to this effect. That same evening, Student Government Vice President Ethan Jones was charged with sexual assault, prompting Smith and Sam to resign from the board. They said The Texan Daily that their demands on the student government to increase transparency and sever ties with the Tejas Club have not been heeded. Director Nicolas Gonzalez, member of the Tejas Club, also resigned, just like Jones. Current student government leaders and Jones did not respond to the the Chroniclerequests for comments.

Articles of impeachment have been introduced against board chairman Kiara Kabbara, according to the the Chronicle, and the 31-member Student Government Assembly, a separate branch of the board, plans to introduce impeachment articles next semester against communications director Madison Brown and CFO Grant Marconi. the the Chronicle also reported that a member of the student government intends to introduce legislation to abolish the entire executive council.



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