This past week, the Undergraduate Student Government voted to impeach Comptroller Dylan Nenadal for a violation against the group’s bylaws. This decision came after a four-hour session in which four potential violations were brought forward against the former Comptroller.
This article is not about the merits of whether USG made the right choice, or whether each individual decision was made within reason of the bylaws. It can’t be, as the general student body has next to no information on the allegations.
According to the USG bylaws, Nenadal was charged with not acting impartially regarding financial decisions for which he may have had a conflict of interest, or that he may have neglected or abused his position. This encompasses a whole range of possibilities, from the non-story that was the original reporting on the subject to serious and troubling abuses of power. We have no current way of knowing.
Unfortunately, the decision was made after a closed session, with votes hidden and evidence destroyed. The reason given was due to the sensitive, private nature of the case. This is acceptable and understandable, but especially because the charge involves student money, the complete lack of transparency by USG can’t help but be troubling.
Not all the details are necessary. However, the undergraduate populace currently has no information as to how finances were mishandled, nor any guarantee that measures will be put into place to prevent such abuses of power. There is simply no way that every piece of information related to any of this is too personal.
This lack of communication is unacceptable. We need answers.
Each student is required to give USG money every semester with the expectation that money will be dispersed fairly to clubs around campus. Knowing that this was not done correctly—without any description why—is infuriating. Not giving any word on how this happened or if it will be prevented in the future is a serious misstep. Clubs that rely on this funding should be upset. Students should be upset. The Editorial Board is upset at this complete lack of communication.
USG leadership has stated operations will be “business as usual” moving forward. If business as usual includes the opaque, tight-lipped behavior that the group exhibited with this impeachment process, then this cannot and will not be the case. When student funds are involved, some minimum level of transparency and reassurance is required. Anything less is unfair.