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UT Austin Student Government Members Face Impeachment

January 3, 2022

Four members of the executive board of the University of Texas at Austin’s student government resigned following repeated calls for more transparency and accountability, The Austin Chronicle reported. Another three executive board members face possible impeachment at the start of the spring semester. (This paragraph has been updated to clarify the criticism of the board.)

The seven members of the executive board first came under criticism in October, after a student posted the student government’s budget on social media, asking for transparency on its numbers. The budget showed that executive board members reserve $30,000 for their own tuition stipends while allocating only about $16,000 for scholarships, the Chronicle reported. Students then began questioning the student government’s relationship with the Tejas Club, a university men’s social organization, which came under scrutiny in October after some club members were accused of sexual assault and attempting a cover-up, according to the Chronicle.

During a Twitter Spaces discussion, two executive board members, Mackenzie Smith and Meera Sam, promised that the student government would disaffiliate with the Tejas Club, but the board drafted no statement to that effect. That same evening, student government vice president Ethan Jones was accused of sexual assault, prompting Smith and Sam to resign from the board. They told The Daily Texan that their requests for the student government to increase transparency and sever ties with the Tejas Club went unheard. Board member Nicolas Gonzalez, a member of the Tejas Club, also resigned, as did Jones. Current student government executives and Jones did not respond to the Chronicle’s requests for comment.

​Articles of impeachment have been introduced against board president Kiara Kabbara, according to the Chronicle, and the 31-member student government assembly, a separate branch from the executive board, plans to introduce articles of impeachment next semester against communications director Madison Brown and financial director Grant Marconi. The Chronicle also reported that one member of the student government intends to introduce legislation to abolish the entire executive board.

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