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President Jankoski speaking at Convocation. (Photo by Marlayna Demond for UMBC Creative Services)

Impeachment trial for SGA President set to begin soon

On April 27, the election results for the Student Government Association were officially announced. Anthony Jankoski and Daniel Amsini would become the student body’s president and vice president, respectively.

The pair received 1036 votes, edging out a victory over opponents Bentley Corbett-Wilson and Kelly Robier, who received 920 votes. Michelle Seu and Lizz Chen finished in third with 519 votes.

The election was not without controversy.

In an effort to be as transparent as possible, the Election Board made public announcements on myUMBC every time a candidate was found to have violated Election Rules.

The Seu-Chen Campaign were given an official warning by the Election Board for a minor infraction on April 8. On April 20, both the Corbett-Robier Campaign and Jankoski-Amsini Campaign received a warning from the Election Board, also for minor infractions.

However the violations did not end there.

On April 22, the Election Board announced “complaints were reported … that Anthony Jankoski played loud music on Academic Row in violation of campus policy on April 16 and attempted to solicit votes with electronic devices on Monday night.”

Finding the accusations to be valid, they “determined that the proper sanction for these violations was a total ban of the Jankoski-Amsini campaign from Late Night, effective at 9:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. on April 22.”

The next day, the Jankoski-Amsini campaign were sanctioned once again. According to the Election Board, “complaints were reported … that Daniel Amsini solicited votes with electronic devices during the Wednesday morning voting period.”

The Election Board ruled that the penalty would be “a total ban of the Jankoski-Amsini campaign from the University Center and True Grits Dining Hall.” This would be the last sanction imposed on any campaign.

However on May 15, 18 days after the results were announced, the Election Board made one last post on myUMBC. It was titled “Recommendation for Further Investigation of Election Conduct.” Two days after the outcome was released, the board was contacted by an administrator from the Shady Grove campus.

According to the Election Board, “She provided strong evidence that the Jankoski-Amsini Campaign solicited votes on electronic devices at the Shady Grove satellite campus.”

Photo by Marlayna Demond for UMBC Creative Services
President Jankoski speaking at Convocation. (Photo courtesy of Marlayna Demond for UMBC Creative Services)

The post then went on to inform students that, “per the SGA Constitution, an impeachment trial can be initiated by a two-thirds vote of the Senate or Finance Board, or through a petition signed by 5 percent of UMBC undergraduate students.”

A petition was quickly created by student Ellis Zappas on May 20. It would require 530 signatures, five percent of the 10,598 students on campus. The petition quickly surpassed that amount.

However, once school let out and summer arrived, the process slowed down considerably. Senator Markya Reed said, “there are multiple reasons for this, distance being the key factor. However, now that we’re back on campus things have been moving along quickly.”

The Senate has found its trial manager, Belawoe Akwakoku. Senator Andres Garcia was initially going to assume the role, but stepped down due to personal bias. Garcia was a supporter of Jankoski during the election process.

Akwakoku said, “I’m honored that the SGA Senate instilled their confidence in me, and I thank them for the opportunity. I will do my best to ensure a fair and just trial that will benefit SGA and all UMBC students.”

Reed also noted Jankoski’s role in the expedition of the impeachment process. She said, “all of us have been in contact with Anthony, who, I might add, has been very cooperative.”

So where do we go from here? Senator Sarah Lilly said, “the trial will begin as soon as the Senate officially receives the petition from SGA President Anthony Jankoski. The length of the trial is yet to be determined, and there are many unknown factors at this time that will not make themselves known until the trial has officially begun.”

According to Lilly, Jankoski will be delivering the petition to the Senate during their meeting on Monday, Aug. 31.