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Senate, GSA should remove SBP Flittner from office

Senate, GSA should remove SBP Flittner from office (credit: Juan Fernandez/) Senate, GSA should remove SBP Flittner from office (credit: Juan Fernandez/)

Undergraduate Student Senate unanimously voted to start the impeachment process against Student Body President Jake Flittner last Thursday. Based on the lack of initiatives and projects coming out of the executive branch, we support this decision.

According to Senate’s official blog, the main reason for the move to impeach was that Flittner was not fulfilling his presidential duties as outlined in the Student Body Constitution.

According to senate members, he has failed to regularly attend Senate, Graduate Student Assembly (GSA), and Faculty Senate meetings. Flittner has also failed to hold and advertise monthly office hours, attend and chair Student Government Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings, and facilitate representation of the student body throughout Carnegie Mellon’s Pittsburgh campus.

Flittner has not even convened his cabinet this semester and was absent from the meeting at which Senate voted to begin the impeachment process.

When anyone is in a leadership role, especially one as large as the student body president, he or she must take that role seriously. A leader must have the time and vision to lead, recognizing when help from others is needed to carry out his visions. It’s understandable that Flittner might be busy; for most Carnegie Mellon students, busy is a way of life.

But that is why the president has an entire cabinet of carefully selected people to support and carry out his visions. That is why the president has Student Senate, faculty members, advisers, GSA, and all the other branches of student government to collaborate with and draw resources from.

The fact that Flittner has not used any of these resources over the course of his term is shocking. His campaign promises from 2011 remain unfulfilled and leave us uninspired. Where is the Cultural Diversity Honors Program promised to us during his campaign? Where are the “Friday Frenzies” that campus eagerly awaited?

Campaign promises to the campus community have been forgotten, and promises to Student Senate to increase transparency and communication between branches of government have also been ignored. Flittner’s glaring lack of action has forced this impeachment process. Now, perhaps positive changes can be made and student government can get back on track.