The Advance-Titan

Student tries to impeach OSA President Boothe

Nicole Horner

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Oshkosh Student Association President Austyn Boothe is currently undergoing an impeachment process after Student Success Center Ambassador Ann Mittelstadt sent out a complaint letter questioning Boothe’s authority.

Boothe said the situation upset her when it first came up but it was not completely unexpected.

“I was definitely upset,” Boothe said. “I was kind of blindsided because I knew that Ann was having issues and wasn’t necessarily happy with how things were going this year.”

An unnamed source who helped write the letter but later recanted their name said they helped write the letter because they were upset with the situation at the time.

“I was acting out of anger rather than trying to see the other way to go about it,” the source said. “At the time I thought [impeachment] was the only option.”

According to the source, they recanted their name after a conversation with one of their professors that was a close adviser to them.

“He suggested that mediation might be a better way to go about this,” the source said. “We haven’t sought mediation yet because we’re in the middle of the judiciary and impeachment process. Mediation has yet to be an option.”

The unnamed source said no other OSA members were in support of the impeachment.

“It was largely brainstormed quickly,” the source said. “Ann and I really wanted to get the process going.”

According to the source, these actions aren’t limited to OSA members.

“Any student can make a complaint or call for impeachment,” the source said. “Technically every member of the student body is a member of OSA.”

The source said the letter was first addressed after being sent to the judiciary committee, which then went on to investigate the claims.

“Most things were inconclusive or did not happen during the time of her presidency,” the source said. “A lot of these issues stem from lack of ability to decently communicate.”

According to Boothe, the impeachment issue surfaced after an instance of miscommunication.

“I thought Ann and I had a really good working relationship up until about a week or two before this charge came up,” Boothe said. “It was brought to my attention that Ann had some ill feelings, wasn’t really happy with how things were going and at that time we did reach out to Ann to have a meeting with her. She said she did not want to meet with me. So I did reach out, I did try. If somebody does have an issue, I’m okay with working with them. Criticism is never fun but I’ll sit there and I’ll take it and I’ll try to learn from it.”

The complaint letter consisted of 14 points regarding Boothe’s alleged abuses of power. Some of these points were brought up at a judiciary hearing in place of Senate held on Nov. 8. The event was open to the public.

At the hearing, both Mittelstadt and Boothe were given opportunities to address the issue.

Mittelstadt began by saying that what upset her the most was a meeting she and Boothe had regarding Mittelstadt’s application for the Student Legal Service Director position.
“She told me that the other person was more competent in the position even though I did the position for one year beforehand as a volunteer,” Mittelstadt said.

Boothe said there were several people in addition to Mittelstadt that applied for the position.

“I don’t remember off the top of my head how many applicants we had for that,” Boothe said. “But we did have multiple applicants and we did interview multiple applicants.”

According to Mittelstadt, Boothe then offered her another position, but later said it was not in her authority. Not allowing the free hire of OSA Ambassadors was the third point made in the letter.

“She asked me if I’d like an ambassadorship instead,” Mittelstadt said. “But then I find out she said she has no control over who gets ambassadorships or anything, but she’s the one who came to me.”

Boothe said she does have the authority to create new positions, but she had trouble communicating this information to Mittelstadt.

According to Mittelstadt, Boothe has also displayed a lack of serving her office hours. Not serving her office hours as outlined in the OSA Constitution was the fifth point made in the letter.

“She’s supposed to come in 15 hours a week,” Mittelstadt said.

Boothe said that although her office hours fluctuate, she does make sure to serve them accordingly.

“There are weeks that I am in the office a lot more than other ones,” Boothe said. “It really depends on my schedule. Not only am I involved in OSA, I’m also in Greek Life as well so I am busy on campus and I can’t be in the office at the exact same time that everybody is in there.”

According to Mittelstadt, personal conflicts were another issue behind the complaint letter.

“[Boothe] just treats me like I don’t belong there,” Mittelstadt said. “I’m not good enough. I just want her to realize that people have feelings. I like Austyn, don’t get me wrong, I like her. But I just think that with the way she’s treating me, I don’t know if she treats anybody else that way.”

According to Boothe, this problem could have been solved with better communication.

“She wants me to realize that people have feelings,” Boothe said. “I do my best to try to read people’s emotions. But I really think that this issue could have definitely been solved by having that meeting when I did reach out to Ann. I know that I definitely come off as a little blunt or a little much sometimes. That’s my personality, I’ve always been that way.”

According to Reeve Advisory Council Vice President Aza Muzorewa, who served on the judiciary committee, a vote regarding Boothe’s impeachment will be called for on Nov. 14 and 15.

“There’s a motion and then someone seconds the motion,” Muzorewa said. “If there would be a vote, that would have to pass two-thirds of the Assembly and Senate.”

Boothe said she will take this situation as a learning experience.

“I want to continue to work with OSA,” Boothe said. “I want to make sure that I am representing students of Oshkosh who elected me to the best of my abilities.”

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Student tries to impeach OSA President Boothe