JCU community at odds over impeachment, Meyer’s appeal denied

Students use their voices to show both support and opposition for Matt Meyers recent impeachment.

National Conference of State Legislators

Students use their voices to show both support and opposition for Matt Meyer’s recent impeachment.

Laken Kincaid, Campus Editor

After former Student Government president Matt Meyer’s impeachment on Nov. 16, students were divided in their support for the Senate’s decision. Multiple members of the campus community voiced their opinions on Student Government, some even called for its abolition in its current form.

“Matt Meyer’s impeachment revealed that they [Student Government] are not acting with our best interests in mind,” Luke Hoffman ‘22, president of the JCU Freedom Society, stated. “If a fairly elected Student Government president can be impeached for something as fickle as failing to give a “State of the University address,” then we believe it is clear that such a government shares no concern with the voice of the students. We believe that the Student Government impeached Matt because they don’t like him. We believe they took such a drastic action without seeking the opinions of those they supposedly represent.” 

With the support of Hoffman and others on campus, Meyer filed an appeal on Nov. 30 challenging his impeachment, despite there being no provision for handling such an appeal in the Student Government constitution. The appeal, which included over 200 signatures of supporters, was backed by members of the current executive board and former Student Government president Erin Ahern. The appeal primarily argued that the impeachment proceedings were conducted unconstitutionally, and thus the Senate’s ruling should be overturned. 


According to section five of the Student Government constitution, a bill for impeachment “shall be tabled for one (1) week, and is to be voted on at the next formal meeting of the Senate.” While the senate did vote to suspend certain normal procedural rules, the constitution also states that constitutional provisions are not suspended through this procedure. The bill was not tabled and was voted on almost immediately following its introduction. 

“They forgot to suspend the one week ruling when they voted…,” Esther Ngemba ‘22, former Executive Vice President of JCU’s Student Government, told The Carroll News. “There is a rule in the Constitution basically that the bill should be tabled for one week…It’s kind of like they’re not following the rules, and they’re treating Student Government as their playground.”

Shortly after the appeal was filed, however, concerns arose that a few of the signatures were added without the consent of those named. Meyer confirmed that “an individual or two went to the OSE [Office of Student Engagement] saying that their name was not correctly on [the petition],” but he says that after learning of this he and his allies, “double checked with each individual to make sure and once we got the names of the people who did not want to be on [the petition], we removed them.” Meyer insists that “there was an honest attempt to ensure that the interest of every single signature was being met.”

As of this writing, OSE has made no public indication that any of the names submitted on the final appeal were included without their signatory’s consent. 

Ultimately, the petition was reviewed by the current Chief of Staff of Student Government, Jacob Kozlowski ‘24. On Dec. 3, Kozlowski released his decision on the appeal stating that, while there were valid concerns over the constitutionality of the impeachment, there was no remedy to amend the resolutions because of the previous removal of the Chief Justice position earlier in the year. Because of this removal, there was no process to actually reverse the resolutions which impeached Meyer. 

A Student Government representative explained to The Carroll News, “At an Administrative level, the University has adopted a new student conduct process, focused on restorative justice, which eliminated the Hearing Board from Student Government’s jurisdiction, leaving the Director of Judicial Affairs position stripped of its student conduct responsibilities.” As a result, the position of Director of Judicial Affairs, who also served as the Chief Justice, was removed from Student Government.

When asked about the merits behind the removal of the Chief Justice, Meyer stated that he does not believe that it is connected to his impeachment. 

Prior to the elimination of the position, the Chief Justice would have adjudicated any constitutional challenges. In the absence of any such mechanism, Kozlowski determined the challenge could not move forward and thus denied the appeal. 

In the final paragraph of the decision, Kozlowski notes that “recently introduced amendments to the Constitution aim to repair the missteps of the Senate, ensuring such shortcomings will not occur in terms to come.”

The same Student Government representative elaborated that the body plans to create a Parliamentary Committee which “is designed to settle any actions that on their face present conflict within Student Government. At this time, any appeals will be delayed until the beginning of the Spring 2022 term when the official position starts.”