News and Events

Student Senator impeached for first time in 20 years

Student Senator Irenonsen Eigbe was impeached Tuesday, January 24th, in Student Senate’s first-ever impeachment hearing. Student Senate President Brianna Bracey passed a motion for the impeachment of Eigbe, Student Government Affairs Chair, on Wednesday, January 18th. This motion was seconded by Joshua Hunte during a meeting between the executive board which voted 6-0 to move forward with the impeachment process. The rest of the senate was allowed the opportunity to veto this motion, but none of the members chose to veto.

The following Tuesday began the official Impeachment Hearing with physical evidence and testimonies from multiple witnesses on the 4 offenses that violated Article VI, Section IV, Subsection B., Clause i in the Student Government’s Constitution: Insubordination in terms of defiance of authority and the refusal to obey orders; Malfeasance, or wrongdoing, especially in public office; Nonfeasance, or the failure to perform an act; and Misfeasance, or a transgression, especially the wrongful exercise of lawful authority. Multiple witnesses to these actions and behaviors spoke out about their experiences with Eigbe with the accompaniment of emails, Facebook messages, and Snapchat story screenshots.

In a letter dated Nov. 28, 2022, Maria Storaci, a former member of the Student Senate’s Public Relations committee in the 2021-2022 academic year, detailed her experience with Eigbe while part of the committee: 

“During my time in the Student Senate, Irenonsen Eigbe made participating and fulfilling my position to the highest capacity in the student senate extremely difficult. I was genuinely excited to be a voice for the student body and to learn real public relations skills at the same time. However, because of Irenonsen’s tendency to overstep and micro-manage, doing my job as part of the committee became restricted and I felt unheard,” Storaci wrote.

Storaci claimed in her letter that Eigbe posted content on the Student Senate Instagram without committee approval and encouraged her friends to comment on decisions she disagreed with. With this was more social media postings by Eigbe such as a Snapchat story from her personal account, stating, “Not the president of Student Senate blasting me in the e-board chat for absolutely no reason then deleting the message.” In addition to the post of an Instagram story of a picture that said, “thought I was entering my peace and love era but I think it might be the spiteful bitch one instead,” which Eigbe captioned “I think both depending on how Senate goes.”

President Brianna Bracey said that she attempted multiple routes to remedy situations such as this within Student Senate and reached out to Jeff Wakeman from the Office of Student Development to help rectify this situation for all parties involved. In a total of 12 meetings prior to the impeachment hearing and personally reaching out to Eigbe, Bracey moved with an impeachment hearing after a meeting with the executive board.

In a Facebook Messenger exchange between Eigbe and Bracey, Bracey confronted Eigbe about her behavior within the Senate, wanting to reach a middle ground of being able to work on a professional level and not continue any gossip from either side.

“…my thing is you don’t have to like me. But we need to be able to be on a basis of respect if we are going to work effectively in Senate. And I genuinely believe I cannot work with you if you are going to disrespect me behind my back. If you have a problem I want you to address me directly…” Bracey said.

“I [definitely] won’t deny I’ve been talking about you to people and am pretty open about it. I’m honestly sorry for not bringing this up sooner because it not only senators but it ends up hurting Senate’s mission. The ‘bad’ you speak of are legitimate concerns about the way Senate is being run…” Eigbe replied.

After hearing multiple testimonies from witnesses to Eigbe’s behavior and physical screenshots of text messages and Snapchat stories, the senate began taking two separate votes for Eigbe’s impeachment and her removal from Student Senate. In the first round of voting, 17 voted in the affirmative to impeach Eigbe from her position in the Student Senate, 4 voted against her, and 2 did not vote. In the second round of voting for the dismissal of Eigbe from the Student Senate organization 15 senators voted in the affirmative of her dismissal, 6 voted against it, and 4 did not vote. 

Never in Stockton’s history has an impeachment hearing been called in the Student Senate organization. The first impeachment in the school’s history resulted in the removal and dismissal of the impeached Irenonsen Eigbe from her position and the organization on the basis of her behaviors that had been addressed various times prior to President Brianna Bracey calling an impeachment hearing. One other senator close to Eigbe, Emily Zembricki, removed herself and resigned from her Student Senate position due to the impeachment hearing.