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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Student VP Impeached

    The Undergraduate Student Government Senate voted 19-1 with two abstentions to impeach Ralph Thomas, the vice president of Clubs and Organizations on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

    According to the impeachment resolution passed by the senate, Thomas failed to perform certain responsibilities required of him as an officer. He is accused of not serving the minimum of fifteen office hours a week. The resolution also alleges that he failed to organize an event called Leadership Day in the fall of 2006, and had limited participation in organizing the same event last week.

    He was also impeached for allegedly failing to follow the Council of Representatives Act; a new law that gives the VP of clubs and organizations a number of new responsibilities.

    ‘I think the senate did the right thing,’ Esam Al-Shareffi, the USG senate recording secretary said.

    Thomas, a junior, has been in office since 2005, according to the USG website. He is a health science major with a minor in business administration.

    Thomas was given a chance to speak in his defense, but only spoke briefly. He argued that he only found out about these charges against him on Monday. Thomas said he had no comment on the accusations.

    USG President Romual Jean-Baptiste said Thomas might have had more of a defense if he had more time to prepare. The senate had an ‘unfair advantage,’ he said.

    According to Senator Nathan Shapiro, who co-authored the resolution with Senator Joseph Antonelli, the senate gave Thomas fair warning about the potential impeachment two weeks ago. Had he fulfilled his duties for Leadership Day 2007, the senate would have dropped the charges.

    ‘It was more important for him to do his work than to punish him,’ Shapiro said. However, the senate claims that Thomas played a small role in organizing the event and showed up late.

    Thomas’ office hour sign-in and sign-out sheets were a main source of evidence provided at the meeting. The sheets, dating back to last fall, show an incomplete record of the times he was there, which leaves the senate to question whether he worked at all.

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