Archive for Friday, November 13, 2015

KU Student Executive Committee demands top student body officers resign; officers pledge support for minority issues

November 13, 2015, 8:17 p.m. Updated November 14, 2015, 12:29 p.m.


The Kansas University Student Executive Committee voted Friday night to demand the resignations of three of the Student Senate's top officers.

On a 6-3 vote, with one committee member abstaining, the committee adopted "a motion of no confidence in the leadership of Student Body President Jessie Pringle, Student Body Vice President Zach George and Chief of Staff Adam Moon," according to a tweeted document from the committee's meeting.

The committee also pledged its support for 15 diversity-related demands issued earlier this week by a student-led group calling itself Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk.

As part of its motion against the Senate's top officers, the committee demanded their resignations by 5 p.m. Wednesday, asking the full Senate to take up impeachment measures if Pringle, George and Moon refuse to step down.

None by Sara Shepherd

On Saturday morning, the Student Senate released a statement signed by Pringle, George and Moon saying they plan to continue serving despite the call for their resignations.

According to committee members, at a KU forum on race earlier this week, Pringle and George did not "stand in solidarity with their black peers and proclaim that Black Lives Matter."

"Black students do not feel that the Student Senate provides adequate representation, funding and support for their needs," the committee wrote.

In their joint statement Saturday, Pringle, George and Moon professed support for minority student groups.

"Black lives matter. Black lives matter at the University of Kansas," they wrote.

Related document

Kansas University Student Senate statement ( .JPG )

According to the Senate rules and regulations to which the committee referred in its written statement, a bill of impeachment must be signed by one-fourth of the voting members of the Senate. It then proceeds through a potentially lengthy committee process that leads to an official hearing with majority support. A two-thirds majority vote, on roll call, is required to formally discipline the impeached party.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said in a message to campus earlier Friday that her administration will begin sharing information “early next week” about how KU will move forward on the issue of racism.

Jessie Pringle and Zach George, the 2015-2016 Kansas University student body president and vice president.

Jessie Pringle and Zach George, the 2015-2016 Kansas University student body president and vice president.

KU conversation on race

● Nov. 11 — KU town hall forum on race draws about 1,000 to Kansas Union

● Nov. 12 — Student-led Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk group issues diversity-related demands for KU; here's some more context

● Nov. 13 — KU chancellor reacts to heated town hall forum on race

● Nov. 13 — Police investigating reported altercation involving racial slurs at Halloween house party

● Nov. 13 — KU Student Executive Committee demands top student body officers resign

● Nov. 14 — Call for student leaders to resign, hunger strike add to tensions on KU campus

● Nov. 15 — Alumni, community petition seeks KU student leaders’ resignations; status of hunger strike unclear

● Nov. 16 — School of Business, Hispanic student group latest to issues statements on racial issues at KU

● Nov. 16 — Facing calls for resignation, KU Student Senate leaders issue multicultural action plan instead

● Nov. 17 — How KU Student Senate execs voted on contentious motion to oust top three officers

● Nov. 17 — KU administration announces first steps toward addressing racism, inequality on campus

● Nov. 18 — Investigation continues into alleged altercation involving racial slurs at Halloween house party

● Nov. 18 — KU plan for diversity training worries some GOP lawmakers

● Nov. 18 — Kansas Regents chair encourages respect, open processes as campuses deal with diversity issues

● Nov. 19 — At marathon meeting, KU Student Senate grapples with impeachment of student body leaders

● Nov. 20 — Attempted ouster of KU Student Senate leaders faces lengthy process

● Nov. 20 — KU professor who used n-word in class discussion is placed on leave

● Nov. 23 — The latest on the KU Student Senate leaders' impeachment process

• Dec. 9 — KU Student Senate forms committees to vet Invisible Hawk demands

• Dec. 9 — KU Student Senate defers impeachment talk


Steve Jacob 1 year, 4 months ago

"We can avoid it no longer. The crisis in academia has reached a boiling point.

"Too many students are wasting their educational years going to college -- and earning degrees in self-indulgence. The academic institutionalization of entitlement is lobotomizing America's kids.""

"When colleges make it their business to stop teaching and start agreeing with students, they surrender their purpose: their opportunity to enrich a young student's development."

Michelle Reynolds 1 year, 4 months ago

Isn't the student senate elected positions? Did anyone of color run to be on the senate? This is the same for faculty and staff. Did anyone of color apply for those positions? If they did and didn't get the position was it because they weren't qualified? If there is discrimination than let's hear about those situations. Then address the propblem. Before we all jump off the deep end can we see the facts that show disctimination is happening. I hate to see this situation turn into discrimination against other races.

Alexander Dang 1 year, 4 months ago

It's funny you ask this, but you're actually completely on-target, in my opinion.

Among the faces of RockChalkInvisibleHawk, from what I've seen in the pictures of their appearance at BGL's forum, were last spring's LOSING coalition's Prez, VP, and campaign staff. I'm actually in Paris right now (guess I traded one warzone for another), but to me, calling for their resignations is just "sour grapes" because they lost the election.

Scott Burkhart 1 year, 4 months ago

Let me get this straight. The Executive Committee voted "no confidence" because the three student elected officials shared a different opinion. You see, this is fascism and, even worse, totalitarianism. Not only must you agree with me but you must also think like me. Insanity run amuck.

Nathan Anderson 1 year, 4 months ago

Actually, it's more troubling than that. The 3 didn't express a different opinion. When the white members of the crowd were called out to stand up in solidarity with the Black LIves Matter movement, they remained seated. Although I"m a lib dem and interested in using this groundswell to fight racism, I wouldn't have stood up either. There's a totalitarian bent to this groups and the call for white members to stand up strikes me as a loyalty test. What they're doing now confirms my suspicion.

Bob Forer 1 year, 4 months ago

Scott, the only opinion that matters is whether or not racism still exists on campus. It either does or it doesn't. The large turnout at the public forum and the comments made, at the very minimum, should give one an articulable suspicion that race relations on campus are not "fine." Accordingly, it would be reasonable to expect the elected student leadership to show concern. Perhaps it was a benign oversight on their part, and in this regard, I think the student protesters should have approached the elected student leadership in private before calling for resignations. I doubt they did, and as I have previously written, the protesting students need to learn some tactics as they seem to be shooting themselves in the foot some of the time.

Regardless, these are issues that need to be addressed. They are not merely "opinions."

Bob Smith 1 year, 4 months ago

Next up, show trials. Coming soon, gulags.

Jesse Thompson 1 year, 4 months ago

But it's perfectly ok for Merrick and friends to act in the same manner?

Sam Crow 1 year, 4 months ago

As Speaker of the Kansas House, it is Merricks responsibility to appoint members to committees. People don’t get to pick their assignments. In his position he not only appoints; he can transfer and remove people from committees.

One of the people of which you covertly refer to was transferred to the elections committee. Another, transferred to the health committee and made Vice Chairman.

In comparison, this small group of nine children on the hill seeks to totally remove elected people from their offices.

It is unfortunate you are unable to ascertain the difference.

Jesse Thompson 1 year, 4 months ago

They are both examples of facsism bordering on totalitarianism. I'm sorry you can't look past skin color to see the facts. BTW, does the Honorable Sam Crow know you are sullying his good name?

Richard Aronoff 1 year, 4 months ago

Let me see if I understand this. These people are to be impeached because they believe all lives matter?

They should not resign. Let the whiners proceed and force everyone to stand up and take a public position. But the whiners should keep in mind that the parents of prospective students are watching. If you think tuition is high now, wait until applications dry up.

Note to the Student Executive Committee: The only place on the planet where you will get universal support for the phrase "All Blacks Lives Matter" is New Zealand. Look it up.

Steve Jacob 1 year, 4 months ago

While we are on the subject of diversity, why is it African American? I bet KU has more Asian and Asian Americans enrolled then African American.

Stacy Napier 1 year, 4 months ago

They probably have a good share of Africans too.

Why can't they just be Americans?

Brad Barnett 1 year, 4 months ago

The irony is that these groups crying for equality and diversity are doing nothing more than fostering and continuing the environment of bias and division, whether they realize they are doing it or not. By identifying with labels of separation (e.g., "black", "white", etc.) they are psychologically altering their perceptions, emotions, and attitudes toward those who are members within their group, but also more importantly, toward those who are not members of their group. Science has supported this with scientific studies and brain scans.

David Holroyd 1 year, 4 months ago

And no one seems to remember who trashed the UDK paper stands on campus and threw the papers into Potter Lake.

Randolf Fellows 1 year, 4 months ago

Does impeachment not require some sort of transgression? I thought impeachment was used to remove people from office for wrong doing. It's far different from a no confidence vote. Someone who knows the parliamentary rules of the KU Student Senate please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think failure to support a particular position has even been grounds for impeachment. Do these officers have a documented track record of racially biased behavior? I do feel like there is something missing from the reporting in this story. Either that or the Student Executive Committee is really straining the boundaries of sane behavior.

Clara Westphal 1 year, 4 months ago

I hope the Senate leaders do not resign. The more power given to the protesters, the more they are going to demand. They should go to class and learn something besides being rude, demanding and out of control.

Randolf Fellows 1 year, 4 months ago

I'd kind of like to see the impeachment proceedings move forward. Watching the Senate come up with grounds for impeachment and try to support their position would be just the kind of Orwellian political theater KU needs. College students can learn much about the dangerous stupidity of extremism from these kinds activities. There are many examples provided by Brownie and the radical Koch club in Topeka, so it's good to show how radical extremism can manifest itself on the Left as well as the Right. I'd also encourage the officers under siege to resist the temptation to go on the offensive. Just stay hunkered down and wait for the circus to collapse under the weight of it's own misguided self-righteous bluster.

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