My name is Sydney Carr, and I am a senator in the Undergraduate Student Government representing Garrigus Suites and Hilltop Dorms. Tim Sullivan is a colleague of mine, with whom I co-hosted a town hall earlier this semester regarding Putnam Dining Hall closing. As a member of the senate who has worked with Senator Sullivan, I feel compelled to share my thoughts regarding his impeachment.
While the judiciary may have you thinking differently, Senator Sullivan is in no position to arbitrarily remove a justice. In fact, our governing documents only outline a way to remove an elected justice, which we do not have. Senator Sullivan in “his full capacity” could do virtually nothing to alter the judiciary.
Instead of addressing the very real structural problems presented by a constitution with clauses left over from parliamentary government, the judiciary has spent the year doing what seems like nothing between election cycles and defending their right to retain a void member of their branch.
What has happened to Senator Sullivan is the product of a broken system. As noted in the article written on his impeachment, he was scheduled for a hearing during his class time, presented with new evidence mere minutes before he appeared before the judiciary, and was met with prosecutor like behavior rather than impartial judgement. The branch of the government that is meant to hold us to our constitution is unconstitutional, yet more interested in impeaching elected officials than resolving this issue.
What is most disturbing, however, is that while Senator Sullivan is being criticized for being too political, the executive branch has acted politically in order to protect the interests of one another rather than to further interests of the organization.
Speaker Ng’s unwillingness to allow Senator Sullivan a fair trial before senate is perhaps the strongest evidence of an executive branch that looks out for their own. As Speaker, he is meant to be the voice of senate and advocate for us at every level. He may cast his vote however he chooses on this issue, but to rig the system against a Senator is a reprehensible act.
What does the Undergraduate Student Government stand to gain from Senator Sullivan’s removal? Are his acts beyond sanction? Is stepping on the toes of our Chief Justice an act that deserves removal? Why are we willing to lose a dedicated member of the senate based on one conversation had in poor taste?
I feel first and foremost that Senator Sullivan deserves a fair trial. This Wednesday, I ask my peers to vote to table his impeachment until a senate where he can attend. This is a crucial time for all members of the Undergraduate Student Government, and I will choose to stand on the side of justice.