The Clemson University Student Government (CUSG) just voted to impeach its black vice president, Jaren Stewart, and some are claiming it was racially motivated because the VP had recently sat through the opening Pledge of Allegiance. However, Stewart has a record of misconduct that the CUSG said had to be dealt with.
The CUSG voted 40-18 to start an impeachment trial for Stewart and introduced an incident report dated April 2017 that details the vice president’s shady past. The letter states that Stewart was “misusing his authority as a Resident Assistant” and sneaking into rooms to pilfer food and supplies, often after playing rugby and leaving grass and dirt around. It was also reported that Stewart confronted a student senator who disagreed with his legislation and the opposing senator felt intimidated. Stewart was also accused of voyeurism:
“There were moments when RA Stewart would enter into McCabe 0220 while the women were changing their clothes. When they asked him to leave, he would not remove himself from the room.”
In September, Stewart engaged in patriotic protest by refusing to stand for the opening pledge at the student body meeting in solidarity with the NFL protests, The Daily Mail noted. Though Stewart believes that minority students don’t face any real threat of violence at Clemson, he said he sometimes detected an “air of racism” on campus, whose white population is at 83 percent.
Stewart said he protested because, “The social exclusion and isolation is very real and very damaging to students here.”
In addition to being on the rugby team and serving as vice president, Stewart, who’s majoring in criminal justice, considers himself a social justice activist and sits on Clemson’s Title IX Administrative Hearing Board.
Student Senator Miller Hoffman, who brought the impeachment proceedings forward, said the decision had nothing to do with race, nor was it because of Stewart’s protest.
However, not everyone agrees and said Clemson needs more people like Stewart and believed the issue of impeachment was over the top.