Students to vote on two referenda addressing SA president removal, new minor

Media Credit: Graphic by Sidney Lee | Graphics Editor

The two referenda deal with procedures for allowing the Student Association to remove a president and with creating an urban studies minor.

The Student Association will ask students to decide on two referenda this week.

If backed by a majority of students, the referenda would create two new processes for the SA president’s departure and urge officials to create an urban studies minor in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

Here’s what you need to know about each referendum:

SA president removal
Students will be asked to weigh in on two processes that would allow for the SA president to leave office if they are or are found to be “unable” to carry out their job.

If approved, the SA president could leave the role through two new avenues – the president could remove themselves voluntarily or executive cabinet members could decide to remove the president through a unanimous vote.

The referendum comes on the heels of sexual misconduct allegations and claims of workplace mismanagement against former SA President Howard Brookins. At the time, the SA Senate could not impeach Brookins based on either allegation but cited several bylaw violations as grounds to remove him, until he later resigned.

Urban studies minor
Students will also consider encouraging the University to create an urban studies minor.

Students have not widely pushed for the minor in recent years. But SA Sen. Gabriel Young, CCAS-U and the sponsor of the legislation that put this referendum on the ballot, said he was driven to create the legislation after witnessing wealth disparities in his hometown and dealing with issues of homelessness in Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office.

The program would offer an “interdisciplinary platform” for students to study urban life, “processes” and design in relation to GW.

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