The topic of impeachment has been highlighted in the last few months, as President Donald Trump has recently been impeached by the House of Representatives.
On Jan. 28 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., the Student Government Association (SGA) hosted the “Understanding Impeachment” event. This event took place in the Overman Student Center Ballroom. During this event Darren Botello- Samson, professor of history, philosophy, and social sciences, spoke to students and staff about the process of impeachment, and the different terms and situations that revolve around the issue of challenging am impeachment.
“I just want to be as educated as I can in a more formal environment”, said Danielle Sisk, junior in political science, “I jumped on the opportunity to learn something new.”
Botello-Samson has been teaching at PSU since 2007, he has a bachelors, masters and doctorate degree in political science. Some of his areas of specialization are, constitutional law, judicial politics and also political and legal theory.
“We wanted to bring in a presenter to explain what (impeachment) is” said Seth George, junior in political science, “so then students have a better understanding and form an opinion around their understanding.”
According to the Oxford Dictionary, impeachment is “a charge of misconduct made against the holder of a public office.”
“Just because someone is impeached doesn’t mean that you are going to be removed from office” George said.
According to George, students tend to have many misconceptions about impeachment.
“Students don’t always know what impeachment means and what that process looks like” George said. “(a misconception people have is) just because someone is impeached doesn’t mean that they are going to be removed from office.”
Botello-Samson began the event with speaking about Alexander Hamilton and his involvement with impeachment. Even though Hamilton was never impeached he shared his opinion that he believed that impeachment was an issue.
“When it comes to interpreting anything as a constitutional basis, a lot of time people will use secondary sources in addition to the constitution.” Botello-Samson said.
Botello-Samson went on to speak about the U.S. Constitution, and how there are very little references of the term impeachment.
“We don’t have much to go by, there are six mentions of the word impeachment in the Constitution” he said.
The first and second articles break down impeachment, and who has control in determining when the president should be impeached.
“Impeachment is not a criminal process” Botello-Samson said. “…a trial of impeachment is not a criminal process.”
Those who attended the event, were educated with information about impeachment, so that they are more familiar with impeachment history, and connecting it to present times.
“(I learned) the focus on what an impeachable offense is,” Sisk said. “I learned that there aren’t a lot of presidents (that were impeached).”
Botello-Samson also spoke about terminology connected to impeachment, some terminology he spoke about was quid pro quo, due process, and precedent.
“I think the biggest problem that we have now as a society is misinformation and miscommunication,” Sisk said. “I think that more neutral political events would be the most beneficial to have on campus”
SGA plans to host more events bringing awareness to students about politics, so they are prepared for the upcoming election.