In an unannounced SRC meeting on November 9, notice of a motion for impeachment was given for the current vice president student affairs, Ben Manzer.
Jenna Evans, the SRC’s current vice president social, brought the motion forward and, in an interview with the Baron, stated: “We need to hold our councilors and executive accountable for their actions, this is trying to do that.”
Manzer was not in attendance at the meeting, as he was away on a family vacation with his father who had been recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“Planning a meeting knowing that I’m away, making it secret, then putting a motion for impeachment to the table…completely unprofessional,” said Ben Manzer who was briefly reached in Florida late Wednesday night.
Evans disagrees that the meeting was unfair.
“I think it’s completely appropriate to hold the meeting without Ben there, he shouldn’t have been away,” referring to her claim that his vacation was not approved, though she admits she did not know about Manzer’s father’s condition .
The reasons for the notice of motion for impeachment are included in a letter Evans submitted to council which can be read here.
It outlines five general categories of concern and provides copies of email chains, text messages, and excerpts from the bylaws to back up Evans’ claims, which have also been included here.
The Students’ Council also voted to a suspend Manzer from all rights, duties and privileges of the vp student affairs position, pending the results of a formal inquiry.
Manzer stated he received an email demanding his keys be handed into the office when he returns from his trip.
Manzer says he was not surprised by the motion as it is no secret that him and some of the executive do not see eye to eye.
“This is definitely personal, based on some disagreements I’ve had, and on what has been said behind my back.”
Evans vehemently denies that this motion is personal, despite a very public argument between the two earlier this year.
“This is about Ben’s performance at work,” said Evans.
The SRC currently has no formal review process for the councillors to keep the executive accountable and as such rely heavily on honesty from the executive.
The SRC now has between one and two weeks to form a committee to conduct an inquiry and obtain legal advice with respect to the proposed impeachment.
“The only concerns I have are that this process is done professionally and has (a) sound grounding in fact. I understand where Jenna is coming from, and I also understand Ben’s struggles with the position,” says Kjeld Conyers-Steede the vice president external who abstained from the vote.
Upon completion of the inquiry, the committee will submit its recommendations to Council who will decide whether to go through with the impeachment.
“I feel like I’ve been treated with a lot of disrespect, but it’s not about whether you get along, it’s about whether you do your job for the students,” said Manzer who appears to be taking the allegations in stride.
”Honestly, in regards to working with the students, I’ve loved it. In regards to working with the internal SRC, it’s been hell.”
A press release from the SRC regarding the meeting can be read here.
The SRC bylaws can be viewed here, with sections 43-49 applying to the impeachment process.
This article was updated on November 10th at 11AM to include interviews and additional documents received.