SGA members await police report before presidential impeachment

SGA President Breanna Harmon speaks to a student during an undergraduate senate meeting. Photo by Jon Mirador

Hannah Eason, News Editor

SGA members said Monday they will wait until the release of a formal police report before moving forward with articles of impeachment against SGA President Breanna Harmon following the seizure of copies of The Commonwealth Times’ Feb. 26 issue. 

Harmon did not attend Monday’s undergraduate senate meeting.

Senator Daniel Cordero-Laske said an article written by The Commonwealth Times on conflict in the organization reflected negativity within student government, instead of progressive policies or improvements for student life, but did not disagree with the term “toxic” to describe SGA.

“Every one of you has at some point or another witnessed those in charge argue with ill manner, break decorum considerably, speak poorly on another member’s character, spread misinformation or disregard another person’s failures,” Cordero-Laske said.

The community engagement committee member said the SGA helped him grow in terms of leadership and a “sense of belonging.” Cordero-Laske said he did not think this year’s leaders should be able to lead next year, and said the current members are timid.

“The abysmal number of participants in this upcoming election is nothing less than a problem that is simply the image of SGA, how we represent the students and how we represent ourselves as members,” Cordero-Laske said. “There are no political parties here.”

Chief of Staff Taylor Maloney said it hurts to see incidents in the SGA be “boiled down to petty workplace drama.” She said she attempted to fix problems within the org internally but felt there was “no way out.” 

“Talking about someone’s domestic abuse, talking about someone’s relationship with their parents, talking about how you wish someone would kill themselves is not petty workplace drama,” Maloney said. “It has an effect on people.”

“I want to say looking forward, I’m sorry,” Maloney said. “As a leader, I’m sorry but will not apologize for standing up for myself.”

SGA Senator Jed Baul released a statement on Instagram stating he considered resigning from his position due to a lack of accountability for leaders, saying Vice President Alexia Guzman and Maloney should be “supported for their courage to share their experiences.”

Guzman and Maloney spoke to The Commonwealth Times detailing allegations of harassment for a story published Feb. 26. 

“SGA deserves leaders who want to change VCU for the better,” Baul wrote. “We cannot continue to be portrayed as an organization that no one wants to be part of. We need to enact change and be the voice for this study body. And that starts now.”

Former SGA member Ayanna Santana said the organization looked “like a goddamn fool” during the senate meeting Monday.

“As I’m looking you all in the face, I’m truly and honestly disgusted by how the leadership team has treated you all,” Santana said. “That article that was written, the first one, it is incredibly disgusting that we are airing out our dirty laundry to everyone at this university.”

Santana said she was part of SGA during the incidents that were outlined in the Feb. 26 article and didn’t see anyone throw away any newspapers in the Commons on Wednesday.

Former SGA member Spencer Vincent advised members to go to their advisors over conflict instead of going to the media.

“Let’s not take the dirty business and put it out there because it’s not looking good,” Vincent said. “It was Black History Month, and I’m seeing an article about toxicity, and it’s all African Americans. Let’s not do that, you know, I’m saying let’s be smart with our situations.”

1 Comment

  1. It’s actually RIDICULOUS that the police has to be involved in the Student Government Association. Breanna did nothing. Yet again, this is another attack on African American campus leaders. Such a shame to have such a diverse school, with leaders that lack inclusivity training and competence.

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