A statement from student senator Cary Cheshire
Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2014 03:02
To my fellow Texas A&M students,
Howdy! My name is Cary Cheshire and I currently serve as the Finance Chair for the Texas A&M Student
Senate. As many of you already know, on Tuesday I and 21 other Student Senators filed a petition to
impeach Student Body President Reid Joseph. This petition was accepted by the Rules and Regulations
Chair as meeting the requirement to hold a hearing and effective that night, the Student Body President
was impeached. It is important to note the distinction between impeached and removed from office.
For example, former President Bill Clinton was impeached from office, but not removed, as the motion
in the House of Representatives did not garner enough votes. Under our bylaws and regulations, my
motion to remove SBP Joseph will require a three fourths (3/4) vote of the Student Senate present at
the next meeting which will occur next Wednesday.
I want to begin by addressing why we have remained quiet until now. Article V. Section II. e of the
Senate Bylaws states "The specific charges brought may not be disclosed outside of executive session
by anyone other than the accused. Violating this subsection constitutes grounds for impeachment."
Until I received confirmation on the meaning of that clause from the Rules and Regulations Chair of the
Student Senate and the Chief Justice of the Judicial Court, I refrained from disclosing anything out of
deference to the law.
The charges that I are bringing forth are serious and are only filed because I believe there is no other
option that will be met with effective action. I have been forthright and clear about the failings of the
SBP since they began and have sought for him to address them only to have the situation sour. I have
met with him and members of his Cabinet repeatedly and have never had my concerns adequately
addressed. Last week, I filed a case against Student Body President Joseph in the Judicial Court for
failure to perform his duties and follow the law. To give you an idea about the legitimacy of my
argument, two of these members and the Chief Justice were all appointed by SBP Joseph, and not a
single one voted to deny my case after reviewing the factual matters presented to them.
In terms of specific failings, the one of prime importance is that the Student Body President has refused
to comply with a portion of the Constitution that was authored and passed in the previous legislative
session underneath SBP Claybrook. All this clause required was that the SBP to submit a weekly report
to the Internal Affairs Committee of the Student Senate in order that it can be sent out with the
agenda which is public information. Many students ask the question “What is my Student Government
Association doing for me?” This was an attempt to answer that and add an accountability standard for
Because he has not complied with this mandate, very few records exist to the nature of his enactment
of legislation and very little is known for sure about the efficacy or procedures of his Executive branch
other than additional areas in which he broke the laws, including a failure to provide monthly expense
reports from Committees and Commissions in the Student Government Association that have been
appropriated student fees. Your student fees.
Additionally, the Executive Cabinet has been repeatedly rocked by resignations this academic year. Chief
Policy Advisor Holly Scott, Vice President for Finance Paige Melendez, Executive Vice President Kyle
Kelly, Vice President for Veteran Affairs Taylor Sessions, and Vice President for Academic Affairs Brody
Smith have all resigned from the Cabinet this year citing various reasons, and there are rumors that
others are soon to join. Such a loss of membership is astounding and unprecedented. Any reasonable
person contend that any organization that suffers a loss of five of fourteen members is one in which the
leadership should be thoroughly examined.
My original intent was simply to have my Judicial Court case in which all I sought was for the Student
Body President to apologize for failing in his duties and a judicial order for him to carry them out. When I
was notified that further members of the Executive Cabinet had resigned, many Senators lost faith in the
ability of the Student Body President to faithfully execute his ascribed duties. Having no further recourse
available, I contacted a number of other Student Senators and let them know of my concerns. I received
signatures from twenty one (21) other members of the Senate body on an impeachment petition which
we filed near the conclusion of a student leader meeting. I then read the impeachment petition to SBP
Joseph personally and addressed the charges contained therein with him. Upon the acceptance of the
impeachment, I withdrew my Judicial Court case against the SBP, though I will file it again should my
attempt to remove him not be successful as I believe that my oath of office and the Aggie Honor Code
both compel me to do so.
I firmly believe that this is the greatest institution for higher learning that exists. At Texas A&M more
than anywhere else there is a higher threshold for the values of integrity, honesty, and honor and a duty
to reflect these esteemed principles in every facet of what we do. I would not be going through with
this if I did not believe that Student Body President Reid Joseph had not infringed upon these values and