USG Vice President impeachment proceedings suspended

Vice President for Student Affairs Winston Crisp announced his office will review the “fairness of bylaws and other rules” relating to impeachment procedure.

In a memo to the Undergraduate Student Government Senate on July 10, Vice President for Student Affairs Winston B. Crisp called for the postponement of Vice President Rose Ritch’s impeachment hearing. 

In the statement, cosigned by Provost Charles F. Zukoski, Crisp called the current process for removal of USG officials “insufficient to ensure integrity.”

Speaker of the Senate Gabe Savage said that he has been trying to bridge the communication between Crisp and the Senators. He added that many people within USG are confused about the decision.

“When Vice President Crisp was talking to [me] about why he was sending this memo out, he mentioned specifically some previous cases in USG impeachment history that he did not feel lived up to the integrity spoken of in the bylaws,” Savage said.

Ritch’s hearing was scheduled to take place July 14 at 6 p.m.

In an email to Annenberg Media, Ritch said, “I commend the university for recognizing the need to suspend this impeachment hearing, and to halt a process tainted from its outset by a campaign of harassment against me for my identity as a Jewish, queer woman.”

The steps outlining the removal process of an officer of the Executive Branch are outlined in the USG Bylaws. Each even-numbered year, the outgoing USG executive committee meets to restructure the USG Constitution and Bylaws.

The most recent restructuring proposal was created by the 2019 Executive Cabinet, which included former President Trenton Stone, former Vice President Mahin Tahsin and former President Fritz, who was the senior director of communications at the time.

The USC administration plays no apparent role in the restructuring of USG founding documents.

“Rose, [Fritz’s] running mate, and self-proclaimed supporter of the anti-racist movement, failed to respond publicly to her constituents about Truman’s behavior,” USC senior Abeer Tijani wrote in an email calling for Rose’s impeachment. “Her silence aids and abets to the already taxing oppression and microaggressions that Black students face at USC face daily, and her vocal support was missing during such a sensitive and alienating time for us.”

The halt in the impeachment proceeding follows the resignation of former USG President Truman Fritz on July 7. Pressure for the resignation was applied by a petition calling for Fritz’s impeachment, spearheaded by Tijani.

According to the USG Constitution, if the president is unable to finish their term, the vice president will be sworn in as the new president at the next Senate meeting.

The Senate is yet to meet due to its summer intermission, leaving the Student Body President position vacant

If Ritch elects to remain in the organization, she will not be sworn in as President at the first Senate meeting of the fall semester.

It is unclear when Crisp plans to address the accusations against Ritch or if the impeachment trial will still be held by the USG Senate.