Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Absolutely Abby: Student Senate needs to change

Ohio University Student Senate Treasurer and now former President-elect Reagan Farmer was impeached yesterday for “gross or willful neglect of the Senate,” according to the Senate’s press release

There are many issues with the way the Student Senate went about this. First, is the Senate’s lack of communication. 

The meeting that removed Farmer took place at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday and communication with the university students did not occur until approximately 10:00 a.m. Thursday, leaving a 10-12 hour window of an uninformed campus. Issues such as impeachment or the removal of the officers who represent and lead our university need to be communicated with the students as soon as possible.

Furthermore, the objective of the Student Senate is to “represent and advocate for all students to university administration and beyond,” according to its website. The students of OU elected Farmer and deserve to know when she was removed. 

Furthermore, when Lori Stewart Gonzalez was selected as president of our university, a campus-wide email was sent to inform students and faculty of the updates; however, the same luxury was not provided to the students when their Student Senate president-elect was impeached. Instead, a press release was posted on the Student Senate’s Instagram account Thursday morning. News of this measure needs to be communicated through a medium that would reach all students’ inboxes. 

This brings me to my second issue: the Senate’s lack of transparency.

Not only do students deserve to know when their president-elect is removed, but they also deserve to know why Farmer was removed

There’s no explanation as to why Farmer was removed in the press release, and we still have not been provided a reason for her removal. This type of transparency and communication is vital to the health of the entire campus. 

Holding our representatives accountable is a pinnacle of American democracy in the form of checks and balances. Why is an organization named after one of the branches of the U.S. government not playing by the same rules? If the U.S. House of Representatives brought articles of impeachment against President Biden, the Senate would have to “consider evidence, hear witnesses, and vote to acquit or convict the impeached official,” according to the U.S. Senate’s website, all of which are televised for the public. 

The Student Senate’s constitution states, “judgment in cases of impeachment regarding gross or willful neglect of duty to [the] Senate,” but, what defines “gross or willful neglect of duty”? There is no information defining this, even though former Student Senate Vice President Isaac Davis was also impeached Feb. 22 under the same terms. 

Students simply cannot hold their representatives accountable without basic information as to why their leaders were removed, leading me to question the legitimacy of this impeachment. 

My third issue is the Student Senate’s lack of representation. 

The Unity ticket, which won the Student Senate election on April 4, was composed of five men, and one woman, Farmer. With Farmer’s impeachment, the entire executive committee is comprised of men. As a woman, this worries me. 

Current President Meghan Handle instituted the “Period Project,” which will place free period products in every restroom on campus over the next two years. Will the men on the executive board do the same? Women need to see a person like themselves representing their university and being an advocate for their causes. The lack of female representation in Student Senate leadership is not accurate in regard to student demographics, as 61% of the gender distribution is female, according to U.S. News and World Report. Removing the only woman, who was of the highest rank in the organization, especially without providing any evidence or reason, is simply sexist. 

Leaders and members of the Ohio University Student Senate, it is time to change. 

Abby Waechter is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Abby know by emailing her at or by tweeting her @AbbyWaechter.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH