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OSA president avoids impeachment

Impeachment charges brought against Oshkosh Student Association president Austyn Boothe last semester ended up not proving substantial enough to justify removing Boothe from office.

Boothe said that aside from one gray area about an Assembly item being removed from the agenda due to it actually being a Senate power, none of the charges leveled against her turned up any conclusive evidence.

“Out of all the 14 charges, nothing was found,” Boothe said. “Because of that, Assembly and Senate did not call to vote.”

Boothe said the charges, brought by Ann Mittelstadt, Legislative Affairs Ambassador were more about personal problems than anything else.

“Personally, I think it became apparent for any individuals that attended the open hearing instead of our Senate meeting that Ann brought those charges because of personal reasons,” Boothe said. “She did even state that a lot of it stemmed from her not getting a paid position in OSA.”

Reeve Advisory Council Vice President Aza Muzorewa, who was on the judicial board tasked with finding evidence, said the board found it difficult to find evidence for many of the charges levied against Boothe.

“A good portion [of the charges] were inconclusive,” Muzorewa said. “We weren’t able to get a definitive conclusion just based on how the grievance was worded, or there wasn’t any information we could gather.”

Out of all the charges levied, United Students in Residence Halls Constitution Chair Kyla Brown said USRH found the matter of office hours were strange.

“We thought it was weird they didn’t record them because we meticulously track our office hours,” Brown said.

Muzorewa said conflict resolution would have been a better option than trying to impeach, but if that measure is taken, the charges need to have concrete evidence supporting them.

“We want to try and pull our personal feelings out of it, if that’s how you go because that makes it a lot harder,” Muzorewa said. “If you file grievances, you want to make sure what you’re saying can be corroborated by cold hard facts.”

Boothe said OSA is looking at changing the constitution concerning impeachment charges due to how long the process took, despite the lack of concrete evidence.

“Somebody could bring something to them, which I believe happened in my case, that doesn’t have really any merit,” Boothe said. “They can say it has no merit, but it has to go on further.”

Boothe said open communication is vital going forward and could have prevented the lengthy impeachment process from having to take place last semester.

“I try my best to be available to students as much as possible,” Boothe said. “I don’t like to see myself as an intimidating person. I like to be really open with students and hear their concerns and their comments about things.”

Muzorewa said conflict should be handled more before going straight to filing a letter of grievance because of how severe the concept of impeachment is.

“While you have every right to do that, I think what we also strive for is to try to meet in the middle, because you’re essentially calling for someone’s job,” Muzorewa said. “Impeachment is a very taboo word, and it’s very hard to impeach somebody in our country as a whole.”

Boothe said she wanted to thank all of the Assembly representatives, senators and students who stood by her while the impeachment charges were being addressed.

“A lot of them realize the type of person I am and stood by me, and I appreciate that,” Boothe said.

Muzorewa called the impeachment charges a “wake-up call” and said he believes the differences that people have can cause problems on campus, but it is also what makes UWO a great place.

“Obviously when you get that many people working together and you have a student body person involved, you’re not going to agree with everything he or she does,” Muzorewa said. “You’re not going to necessarily back up everything he or she does. But you have to learn to be proactive and coexist, and you have to learn to problem solve.”

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
OSA president avoids impeachment