Former student union secretary, James Feng ’22, spoke with The Brandeis Hoot regarding the proceedings of the Senate Judiciary Hearing. Feng was impeached from his position as Secretary in Fall 2021 and filed a motion to remove Student Union President Krupa Sourirajan ’23 and Joseph Coles ’22 from office.
Feng was impeached during the Fall 2021 semester, during the senate meeting on Oct. 17, a motion to impeach was approved with over a two-thirds majority of the senate, according to a previous Brandeis Hoot article. The impeachment trial was held on Oct. 22, where Feng was removed from the position as secretary, according to the article.
Feng told The Hoot in an interview in the fall, that the reason he was impeached was due to political biases of other members of the union, after a difference in political campaign support for the Student Union president and vice president position for the 2021- 2022 academic year. While Sourirajan and Courtney Thurn ’22 won the positions, Feng supported their opposition, this caused Feng to claim they targeted him for impeachment, according to a previous Hoot article. Feng reaffirmed his previous statements from the fall in his latest interview.
Feng cited to The Hoot the information from the evidence packet of the judiciary complaint. In the packet, Feng includes an email from Sourirajan regarding the Allocations Board which was operating without its full staff. Feng told The Hoot that the email shows A-Board needed more members, but Sourirajan would not allow Feng to hold another round of elections to fill the seats, Feng claimed.
Feng said, that he wasn’t “on his A-game” during the first part of the fall 2021 semester and this did lead to some errors in his position as Secretary and chief of elections. However, Feng argued that he deserved another chance to host an election before getting pushed from office. Feng stated that Sourirajan kept him out of email correspondence with the registrar’s office regarding the Qualtrics election survey. Though, Feng admitted to The Hoot that he did not try to reach out to the registrar’s office when he did not receive any notifications from them prior to the election.
Feng told The Hoot that the registrar’s office is typically responsible for setting up the Qualtrics election survey. It was the administration from the registrar’s office that reached out to Sourirajan about elections, Feng told The Hoot, after he had a “delayed response” to their previous emails regarding elections. Sourirajan did not cc Feng on her email communications with the registrar, which Feng said he deserved since it “deliberately stopped [him] from doing [his job].” Sourirajan involved Coles who was then serving as executive senator to help with the elections, instead of Feng, this according to Feng “cut [him] off from doing his job.”
According to the Judiciary complaint, with Feng as the complainant and Sourirajan and Coles as the Respondent, “Complainant alleges intent of political bias in the decision of Respondent to push forward with impeachment of Complainant as Secretary on October 22, 2021. Complainant asserts his stance in the 2021 presidential election created a perceived animosity from Respondent against Complainant serving in office as Secretary. Complainant also alleges Respondent violates multiple sections of the Article XI Section I: Union Member Code of Conduct from Oct. 3 to October 22., 2021 in order to succeed with impeachment of Complainant.
Feng explained to The Hoot that, although both Sourirajan and Coles will not be involved in the student union next year he wanted to make sure the concerns were addressed. “Just because they’re going to be out of office doesn’t mean that these concerns don’t need to be addressed,” Feng explained.