James Feng ’22, Student Union secretary, was confirmed for impeachment after gaining a majority vote for the motion. 17 of the 18 senators voted in favor of impeaching the secretary, Asher Brenner ’24 being the only senator to vote to abstain. With over a two-thirds majority, the motion passed to impeach Feng and the impeachment process will be taken to the judiciary.
Executive Senator Joseph Coles ’22 had 10 minutes to give the reasoning for impeachment where he stated, “I have zero confidence in the secretary’s ability to run elections,” deeming Feng’s actions “disorganized and unprofessional.”
Coles noted that during the September elections, Feng had provided a set of incorrect candidate names, including duplicates, after surpassing the deadline to submit them to the administration.
According to Coles, Feng had issued an incorrect date for the information session that followed and did not post a correction in time, resulting in none of the candidates attending. On top of responding to emails and Slack messages days later, Feng had blamed other senators for his actions during meetings, even telling the Student Union Chief of Staff to tell the Student Union President to “be more efficient in the future.”
Coles had asked Feng to resign from his position after failing to be responsive to communications and overseeing the student elections. According to Coles, Feng had refused to accept responsibility for his actions until impeachment was on the table.
“I am sincerely ashamed and deeply upset at what I have and have not done both with my unacceptable attitude last Sunday and the various incidents during the special elections,” Feng commented in response to Coles’ speech.
Feng claims that he was instructed by the Student Union President to have the election packet prepared but sent it out by Sep. 15, which was his “academic light day.” Feng claims that he was reluctant to reach out for help once the election packet was in, stating, “I thought it was a sign of inadequacy.”
Feng claims to have considered resignation but refused to because he would be “unable to address the problems at the core” and said, “I chose to stand before you today to address my issues head-on.” Towards the end of Feng’s speech he quoted “The Lion King,” saying “the past may hurt, you may run from it or learn from it,” after repeatedly asking for the union to give him a second chance.
When asked why the position was so important to him by Lia Bergen ’25, Feng responded by saying that he “felt honored and privileged to have a leadership position.” He continued saying that “communication suits [him] well.”
Ashna Kelkar ’24 asked Feng to explain his reasons for finally taking responsibility for his actions. Feng replied claiming to have had an epiphany during a soccer practice he attended during the week, which changed his overall mindset. Yael Trager ’24 asked how he plans to show how he would be a better listener to which Feng stated, “I’m sorry for being that brat last Sunday.”