Demolish Democracy to Save VP Jaren Stewart? -Stone Washington

The CUSG Senate Chambers

Pandemonium has erupted at Clemson University in the Student Body Government (CUSG) as Student Body Vice President Jaren Stewart is accused by a fellow Senator Miller Hoffman for corruption as a Resident Adviser after his election to Student Body Vice President. The accusation came on Monday, October 23rd, and calls for an immediate impeachment of Stewart on the premise that he was fired from his job as an RA at McCabe Hall after being accused of, “theft, trespassing, strong-arming, intimidation, and sexual harassment,” according to a FitsNews article on the incident report filed against Stewart, August 27th 2017.

The report containing the allegations. Contributed anonymously to FITSNews.

The report explains how Stewart was seen going into anonymous female students’ rooms, through an unlocked exterior door for suitemate type rooms, and would reportedly “take food, cleaning supplies and their vacuum” without permission. The report also states that Stewart often entered the room and left a trail of grass, sweat, and dirt from his Rugby matches.

The report continues by revealing how “there were moments when RA Stewart would enter into (the room) while the women were changing their clothes.  When they asked him to leave, he would not remove himself from the room.” If true, these compelling allegations provide a clear violation of authority by Stewart as an RA and a major breach of privacy on behalf of the female students he disrespected. Clemson community director Keeyana Talley filed the report and has verified the validity of the accounts of the female students affected by Stewart’s actions. Despite this, the school has yet to issue a report or warning related to Stewart’s alleged conduct, and thus many speculate the University’s administrative response to perverted acts toward violations of privacy and property, such as that which Stewart is suspected of.

Apparently, many Student Body Senators have protested against Hoffman’s call for impeachment, with some accusing him of being racist against a fellow black student [Stewart]. Others believe that Hoffman’s accusation is really filed in response to Stewart repeatedly refusing to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance prior to the launch of weekly Senate meetings, reminiscent of the many NFL players like Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the National Anthem in protest against police brutality. But Hoffman dismisses these claims of racism and kneeling as “distractions” from the actual allegation. Hoffman and many other Senators won in a vote of 40-18 to hold an impeachment trial for Stewart, setting the trial date for Monday, November 6.

Despite the fair and adequate results of the majority vote to hold an impeachment trial, there have been many dissenters in the Senate who are completely against the need for a trial and have constructed a petition, issued on Friday October 27th, calling for the Clemson Administration to intervene, in an attempt to absolve Stewart from any wrongdoings. The petition contains a brief message that demands “that the Clemson Administration intervenes into the proceedings of Clemson’s Undergraduate Student Senate meeting on October 23, 2017. Specifically, the decision to proceed with the Impeachment Trial of Jaren Stewart.”

The petition to reverse the decision of CUSG Senate. Contributed by “sherm” via SnapChat to The Tiger

The petition continues by stating: “These articles [of Impeachment] were suggested based off the preconception and bias included parties possess. We feel as though there is no way that Vice President Stewart would receive a fair trial, considering that these biases do not exist.” The petition concludes by calling on “the Executive Leadership Team to step in and nullify this decision to go to trial by CUSG’s Undergraduate Senate and blockade any attempt to re-enter the Articles of Impeachment.” Clearly, this represents a rogue Progressive presence of Senators who refuse to abide by the Bylaws, which according to Article 1 section 4-rule #5 of the Undergraduate Student Constitution states that: “The Student Senate shall have the power to Remove any officer of Student Government for malfeasance by a two-thirds vote”.

Despite this, these few students seeking to prevent Stewart from going on trial are choosing to completely disregard not only the compelling evidence presented against Stewart’s misdeeds as an RA, but are seeking to directly circumvent the very majority vote of their own colleagues, through the outside influence of school Administrators. Either Stewart’s rebellious colleagues are fearful of the strong likelihood for an impeachment of their Vice President, or they simply are acting upon their own preconceived notions that Stewart is not guilty and will not receive a fair trial, as stated in the petition. Regardless, these students are clearly violating the purpose of a fair democratic process in which the Majority of the Legislative Student Body votes for the best interests of the whole. Does this petition thus represent a direct threat to the democratic sanctity of the Student Government’s decisions? Or is this merely a ploy devised by unnamed allies of Stewart in the CUSG, attempting to save him from Impeachment by any means necessary? Only time will tell, as democracy hangs in the balance amid the controversial Impeachment Trial scheduled for Monday November 6th.

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