By Carolina Lumetta
Last week the Record published results from a survey gauging student opinions about impeaching President Trump. The Record also spoke with faculty members and students in light of the survey.
The potential impeachment has sparked conversation between students and professors on campus. On Oct. 8, faculty in the Politics and International Relations Department held an informational session outlining the impeachment process and its ramifications. Professor of Political Science Amy Black returned from sabbatical to explain the impeachment process, saying that President Trump’s situation is unique.
“The president himself is admitting to what would be the crux of the charges [withholding aid appropriated to Ukraine], which I think makes this particularly strained,” Black said at the event.
Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations Michael McKoy also presented at the event and added that the results of the impeachment inquiry will set new precedents.
“As citizens with authority today, I believe we have to be the ones to demand legislation that limits the president,” McKoy concluded. “It will be a statement about the powers of the president and what he/ she can do going forward.”
On Thursday, Oct. 31, the House of Representatives voted to move forward with an inquiry and approved rules for the impeachment process. The vote was 232 to 196, with all but two Democrats voting for the measure and all Republicans voting against it.
Senior Pedro Panelo is the president of the Wheaton College Republicans organization and thinks students should not make a judgment call until more information comes out.
“Wait for the facts. That’s the biggest thing,” Panelo said. “Whatever the case, you have to understand that the result — impeachment or not — transcends your own feelings and party lines.”
Panelo has not noticed much discussion among his peers about the impeachment inquiry, but he expects it to become more controversial as Congress continues the investigation and eventually makes a decision.
Captain David Iglesias (‘80) described the current political climate as the most contentious he has seen.
“I agree with most pundits that it’ll be successful on the House side, and it might stall on the Senate side unless additional charges are brought,” he said. “This is a very fluid, dynamic and contentious process. D.C. lives on controversy and contention, but I haven’t seen it this intense since Watergate.”
Iglesias also encouraged the college community to trust the political structures in place.
“We’re at a difficult place in U.S. history, but we’ll get by. It will be messy, but our constitution is strong and our political system is strong.”