A Clemson University student’s political career caught national headlines when the Student Senate voted to impeach him after he refused to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.
The State reports Jaren Stewart’s fate as student government vice president changed Monday (Oct. 20) after student senator Miller Hoffman introduced the notion to have the student impeached. The resolution came shortly after Stewart and several other student senators sat during the pledge as a means of solidarity to NFL players.
“(The) 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 said during the meeting.
Hoffman claims the impeachment had nothing to do with the protest and more to do with Stewart’s behavior as an Resident Assistant in the spring. Stewart and Killian McDonald were named vice president and president for the 2017-18 year. Stewart was absent from the meeting which ended in a 40-18 vote.
If impeached, Stewart will reportedly have five business days to appeal to the CUSG Supreme Court.
Some students were reluctant to believe the root of the impeachment. A student who remained unidentified gave a passionate speech in Stewart’s defense.
“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,” she 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 (unintelligible) or any other black student organization on this campus?”
Clemson’s campus in South Carolina is predominately white with its student body being 83 percent white and 7 percent African-American.
“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,” she added. “He is our representation and y’all want to remove him, and none of you are going to be willing to stand up and be that for us. You’re just taking that away so we have less of a voice.”
“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.
Miller Hoffman: impeachment motion not racially motivated pic.twitter.com/cOFS5kkBY4
— Georgie Silvarole (@gsilvarole) October 24, 2017
An impeachment hearing will take place at the Student Senate Chambers Nov. 6.