The National Anthem protest controversy may claim another symbolic victim. This time, though, it is away from the football field. The Student Senate at Clemson University will hold impeachment hearings on Monday, Nov. 6, after their Student Body Vice President took-a-knee during the Pledge of Allegiance.
Jaren Stewart, the Vice President in question, is accused of misconduct. The Student Senate debated his actions for three hours, according to Philip Sikes, communications director for the Division of Student Affairs.
Student Sen. Miller Hoffman filed the official articles of impeachment.
“Specific reasons for impeachment: not fulfilling elected responsibilities of the student body vice president, and being unfit for the office of the student body vice president,” Hoffman proclaimed.
There may be more to the situation than just the kneeling. As the local NBC affiliate writes, “Hoffman brought up misconduct allegations made against Stewart regarding to his time as a resident assistant in April.”
“This whole thing is FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) protected and thus our policy as a university is not to comment on confidential student records,” Sikes explained.
Stewart claims the impeachment has more to do with not standing for the pledge during a student government meeting on September 25th.
Yet Hoffman, who read the articles of impeachment, claims the pledge incident had nothing to do with it. “I cannot stress enough how the situation has absolutely nothing to do with the flag protest, or contain any racial motivation at all. Such narrative is without evidence and is completely untrue,” Hoffman said.
Stewart’s supporters don’t see it that way. They think this is racially motivated. “We go to (Stewart) and let him know that we don’t feel safe when the KKK is dropping paraphernalia in front of our dorm rooms,” a student at the meeting said. “We go to him and let him know that we don’t feel safe on this campus. We deserve that, right?”
“When is the last time that the people who want him impeached showed up to an event that was held by black students union or any other black student organization on this campus? When is the last time you stood up and represented for us?”
“The fact is Jaren is our representation on this campus, and it goes back to he’s black. He’s black and he is in charge, man. That’s the reality. He is our representation and y’all want to remove him, and none of you are going to be willing to stand up and beat that for us. You’re just taking that away so we have less of a voice.”
The final vote will happen Nov. 6.