UNF Spinnaker

Former SG senator speaks on SG group chat case; is there more work to be done within SG?

Carter Mudgett, Student Government Reporter

The mood within Student Government seemed positive, even hopeful, last Friday as senators looked to the future of the organization. However, as the events of the impeachment case against former Senate President Rachel Saunders begin to fade into the past, the issues that have been exposed must also not be forgotten. The case itself uncovered a level of toxicity amongst senators that was otherwise completely hidden from the public eye. 

Spinnaker reached out to the Office of the Dean of Students earlier this week to ask whether or not UNF itself will be taking action against other students involved. In a statement over email, they said:

“UNF is reviewing this situation and will take appropriate action. The University is working with Student Government to cultivate a positive leadership culture as well as provide support to our students who have been affected.”

Spinnaker raised a question in a previous article as to why former Senator Lucas Mougeot filed the complaint against Saunders alone. Spinnaker held an interview with Senator Mouget this week to shed light on his decision.

Mougeot said that he believed Saunders’s behavior by liking and responding to certain messages was “highly concerning.” He said that he challenged leadership with the intention of improving accountability within the framework of the Ignite Party. When those involved made the decision to create a new group chat soon afterward, it showed that, in his opinion, “they were not stepping up to the plate.”

Due to these events, Mougeot then said he had decided to pursue a case judicially because, “Senate President Saunders did not enforce the Constitution, she did not enforce Senate decorum, she did not install accountability within the framework.”

Ultimately, Sauders resigned before the Senate’s impeachment trial, but Mougeot said that he was actually “looking forward” to the impeachment trial. Not for any cynical intentions, but to speak directly with the Senate. In his opinion, “this behavior was relevant to the Senate. That’s where a lot of the toxicity was; with the legislative branch.” 

According to Mougeot, “there’s more to be done because, at the end of the day, [Saunders] was neglecting her duty to enforce the Constitution. People need to follow the Constitution in Student Government.” In general, he does think that the impeachment trial has sent a “shock wave” that will change the culture in Student Government.

Spinnaker reached out to Senator Daniel Lage and former Senate President Rachel Saunders for comment but received no response.

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Former SG senator speaks on SG group chat case; is there more work to be done within SG?