Former USG president impeached after winning appeal hearing for voting inaccuracies


Brian Munoz

Joshua Bowens, former SIU Undergraduate Student Government president, protests Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, outside of Morris Library. Bowens spoke on racial and social issues on the SIUC campus and said he there will be continued demonstrations for 12 days at 12:12 p.m. (Brian Munoz | @BrianMMunoz)

By Amelia Blakely, Campus Editor

At a special Undergraduate Student Government meeting Monday night the USG Senate voted to impeach former USG President Joshua Bowens for the second time.

The vote was 14-5 with two abstentions.

This special meeting follows Bowens winning his appeal on March 21 to challenge USG’s motion on Feb.13 to impeach him because of voting inaccuracies.


As previously reported by the Daily Egyptian, on Feb. 13 USG Senate voted 14-4 to impeach Bowens. However, out of the 14, only nine were yes’s and the remaining five were abstentions.

In an email written by political science professor Tobin Grant and sent to USG Senators Grant said, according to Robert’s Rules, absentations are not to be counted.

“They may be recorded for a record,” Grant said. “But they are neither affirmative nor negative.”

According to Robert’s Rules of Order, there needs to be a two-thirds vote of all members to pass the motion.

When Bowens was originally impeached on Feb. 13 only 18 senators were present.

Bowens’ impeachment rests on allegations investigated by USG’s Internal Affairs Committee which found that he failed to attend his office hours.

Chairman of the Internal Affairs Committee Tousiannt Mitchell said the investigation on Bowens began last semester.


In addition to the original allegations in Senate Bill 18-51, the bill of impeachment, Mitchell motioned to add an amendment in the bill which says Bowens illustrated his vindictive nature by calling out senators who voted yes for the original bill of impeachment when he appealed to the judicial board.

“Attempted to publicly defame those Senators and other USG members of by wrongfully accusing them of tyranny and conspiracy,” the amendment said. “Shown himself as being unprepared and incapable of performing the duties of Undergraduate Student Government President in a respectful, ethical, and responsible manner per Undergraduate Student Government Code of Conduct and Southern Illinois University Carbondale Student Conduct Code.” 

Mitchell provided examples to support his amendment. The first example, which Mitchell said showed Bowens’ resentful nature, was on Feb. 13 when Bowens’ attended a USG meeting with handouts that listed Senators name who voted for the impeachment of Bowens.

“He stated the people who voted against him, claiming there was a conspiracy to get him impeached,” Mitchell said.

Bowens said in response to Mitchell’s claims, that no where in his appeal to the judicial board did he shame the senators who voted yes to his impeachment.

“It seems to me that these things are all opinions but not violations of the constitution,” Bowens said.

Mitchell read Bowens’ appeal and said, “It does state on the handout itself, ‘Likewise senators did not have time to prepare, it’s readily apparent that this was an orchestrated and premeditated attempt to overthrow the will of the SIU student body.”

Before the debate began, which discussed the impeachment bill, Bowens was allowed five minutes to defend himself.

“A great leader once said, ‘before we take our first steps into humanity, you must first look back to not repeat the same steps,'” Bowens said. “I stand before you all today as someone who has been as humble as possible these past few weeks.”

Bowens said he apologizes to anyone he has offended these past few weeks and although he could’ve handled his impeachment differently, he felt as if he was being treated unfairly.

“As we move forward, I would like to bury all the unpleasant things that have previously occurred in the past,” Bowens said. “Lets take this time to correct our mistakes and move forward.”

Campus editor Amelia Blakely can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @AmeilaBlakely.

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