The director of administration for Student Senate was removed from office after an impeachment trial on Monday.
Isaiah Harlan, a junior political science major, was impeached on the grounds of “violation of the constitution or bylaws of Student Senate,” as stated in the organization’s 2018 bylaws.
The Department of Internal Affairs of Student Senate declined to state the specific reasons as to why Harlan was impeached, but Harlan provided an abridged version of what he was charged with. He also added that he addressed these issues in late September to the Student Senate Executive Board.
According to Harlan, he was charged with sending the meeting minutes late to the senators, missed one meeting, did not fulfill all responsibilities of the chairperson of public relations and the Rise of the Red program was not properly executed.
Harlan said he distributed the minutes via Google Docs and is allowed two absences per semester from each of three regularly scheduled meetings. The chairperson of public relations has been absent twice in the matter of two months.
“It is not the job of the director of administration to fulfill every single duty that the public relations chairman neglects,” Harlan said in an email. “I refuse to be held liable for mistakes that have [been] committed by a committee that I do not serve on, rather only oversee.”
The impeachment was a two-week confidential investigation following the procedure outlined in its bylaws.
First, a formal written charge was signed and submitted to the Department of Internal Affairs. Then internal affairs, chaired by sophomore political science and computer information systems double major Brandy Wayne, investigated the charges.
According to Wayne, the department looked at what could be considered a personal issue versus a constitutional issue. They also looked to see what affects the efficiency of Student Senate. She said internal affairs does not present bias but state the facts brought forth by the evidence.
Then, internal affairs provided the information to the accused on Nov. 4, and Harlan was able to defend himself to the department.
After internal affairs decided there was sufficient evidence and determined Harlan’s sentence as removal of office, a trial took place at Monday’s Student Senate meeting.
“After reviewing the Senate constitution, I cannot find a proven instance where I directly violated the constitution,” Harlan said. “I find the charges to be null-and-void due to the pure ambiguity of the Student Senate bylaws and constitution.”
Wayne presented the charges and then Harlan had the opportunity to defend himself in the executive session on Monday.
Senators first voted on if the charges brought forth were unconstitutional and a second vote determined if the recommendation brought forth by internal affairs was appropriate, which passed with over the three-fourths vote needed.
Tom Coy, the executive director of student involvement, has served as adviser of Student Senate for seven years and he said this is the first time, to his knowledge within those years, that impeachment charges have been brought forth and voted upon.
Coy said they followed procedures stated in the constitution and the bylaws.
“It’s Senate’s duty to look out for what is in the best interest of the student body and they, after a lot of debate and deliberation, felt that finding a new DOA would be the best situation for the entire student body,” Coy said.
Harlan said he has served on Student Senate since August 2017 with the intention and ambition to make Bradley a better place for students.
“The whole impeachment was nothing more than a political power play in a desperate attempt to oust me from Student Senate,” Harlan said.
Wayne said Harlan is passionate, but he was not “compatible” with the other cabinet members.
“Previously, we did review a lot of things that he presented to the executive board and a lot of it was very aggressive,” Wayne said. “But he’s passionate, that’s for sure, but I guess that passion got in the way with his job, and Senate clearly noticed that, as they voted removal of office.”
Harlan said he saw the Student Senate Executive Board go through a “negative shift” in the spring of 2019.
“The whole trial served no purpose other than to rid the executive board of members who have a different point of view,” Harlan said. “It really is a shame that Senate has turned into a metaphorical swamp, so ineffective and mired by political power grabs that the organization can no longer serve as an effective governmental body.”
An application for the director of administration position will be open to campus along with the chair of diversity and inclusion.