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Impeachment Threat Against President Khoury Dropped

Update 12/5: Predictably, President Khoury ended up not facing a motion to impeach when CCSG reconvened Saturday night; however, a new executive governance policy did emerge that addressed the concerns of transparency and communication that some members of the Council had regarding Central staff, and made official President Khoury’s current manner of communicating the Board of Trustees issues he is allowed to discuss with other members of CCSG.

All in, a palatable solution to the issues at stake for all parties involved. You can also check out the Collegian’s story; while they butchered the story about what actually went on at Saturday’s council, they do include some good quotes from previous student members of the Board of Trustees.

This weekend marks the third meeting of the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments, and all signs point to it being the most eventful of the year. Or, at least, the most dramatic.

President Peter Khoury, who, in the past month, launched his career as a Penn State Trustee in the worst of circumstances, faces possible impeachment proceedings; however, given the circumstances surrounding the speculation it is unlikely that the movement will gain much traction.

Circumstances surrounding the potential impeachment remain unclear. This is what we know so far.

Council weekend kicked off last night with addresses by UPUA President TJ Bard, Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses Dr. Madlyn Haynes, and Special Assistant to the President for Governmental Affairs Mike DiRaimo. It reconvened this morning, but Council broke around 11:00 a.m. for a series of break-out sessions and lunch. During that time, chatter began to emerge that a push for impeachment was being considered by certain campus presidents. The reason for the impeachment would be, to the best of our knowledge, unpointed skepticism about Khoury’s ability to hold the positions of CCSG President and Student Trustee simultaneously. Khoury was voted into office as CCSG President well before his spot on the Penn State Board of Trustees was confirmed. For more on how Khoury views his dual roles, we suggest you check out our 10 Questions with him. (Khoury was also recently involved in helping arrange for Wednesday night’s Town Hall.)

According to conversations held today with our CCSG personnel, this skepticism in Khoury’s ability to hold both positions resurfaced recently at the same time as more-typical student government in-fighting broke out into one of its seasonal spells. The Council of Commonwealth Student Governments will reconvene this afternoon at 5:00 p.m, which would be the only chance for such a motion to emerge.

However, even if there is enough support internally for an impeachment measure, it is doubtful that a legitimate vote will be able to occur tonight. As of press time, no motion or legislation for impeachment had been registered in accordance with the process stipulated by the CCSG constitution and, where applicable, Robert’s Rules of Order.

The process by which a CCSG President is impeached changed recently, and so Khoury would be the first to be put through the new procedure. The change came as a result of the butchered impeachment of CCSG President Nick Borsuk in 2009. Borsuk, you might recall, was impeached until he wasn’t, a messy scenario that lead the CCSG Constitutional Review Committee to formalize a new process for impeachment.

If impeachment is pursued, that vote (when able to be held legitimately) would need to be passed by a 2/3 majority. Then, the Constitutional Review Committee would take the “case” and develop a timeline for assessing it. At the end of that timeline (which would likely be made to coincide with the next Council Weekend), the Constitutional Review Committee would release a recommendation to remove or not remove President Khoury. Following the release of the recommendation, the Council would then vote to either accept or reject its recommendation.

The full weekend schedule for CCSG is viewable here. This situation is still developing quickly, and we will update you as new information comes in.

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