Before the debate on Tuesday, the Student Government Association Senate meeting was filled with stress and debate on the role of the current Attorney General Pooja Shah.
President Pro Tempore Brandon Johnson raised concern at the Senate meeting on the amount of work Shah has put into her position.
“Constitutionally, the attorney general is not only required to attend every single meeting of the Student Government Association, but she also acts as a de facto member of the internal affairs committee, which she hasn’t attended all year long,” Johnson said. “She’s also required to keep a list of legislation and votes on those legislations.”
According to the SGA Constitution, the Attorney General must attend all Senate meetings; this is not enforced for any other cabinet member.
“Further, Attorney General Shah is required to consistently update the constitution, which is something that has been not happening at all,” Johnson said. “We as a senate have to look at some form of what we need to do.”
The senate spoke at length of what possible action to take, realizing that Shah had recently won an award for Cabinet Member of the Year and is also running as a presidential candidate for SGA.
“What do you want me to do?” President Alex Cassell said. “At this point, I leave office in three weeks. Do you want me to appoint an attorney general next week and then vote the week after?”
Cassell then proceeded to inform the senate that if they had a legitimate question concerning the constitution, it states that they must submit it in writing.
“I don’t know why she can’t be here at this point, and frankly, I don’t care because I’m not going to fire her,” Cassell said.
While the situation was difficult for many senators, Cassell expressed frustration with the situation and proceeded to leave the room.
The Senate voted to override the rules of submitting the impeachment in writing to allow Shah to defend herself for 30 minutes on the status of impeachment in the next meeting.
Shah said she attends a class and internship during the time of the meeting, and when the information was presented to President Cassell, he told her to attend meetings when possible.
“When I took the position for SGA Attorney General, I was told that I didn’t have to be at meetings due to my scheduling conflicts, and if any problems arose, senators and executives could call or text me with their questions,” Shah said. “Those are the terms I agreed to when I took this position, and I’m sad that I haven’t been able to fullfil what I guess was expected of me to do or that I’m just now hearing about the charges now that the semester is nearing the end.”
Shah said she will be taking action to remedy the situation and give all parties involved the conclusion they desire.