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Clemson student government VP avoids impeachment

UPDATE (11/7/17 – 6:45 a.m.): Article has been updated to include statements made by VP Stewart to the media.
After four weeks of debate, demonstration and high tensions, a 42 to 16 vote (six abstained) resulted in Vice President Jaren Stewart not being impeached.
The impeachment trial, which was held in executive session, lasted for more than 10 hours. Senators exited the executive session to vote around 5:30 a.m.; 44 votes were needed to impeach.
“I’m glad I wasn’t impeached,” Stewart told the media after the vote. “I’m glad I get to continue the initiatives I have started.”
Senator Miller Hoffman originally motioned to read articles of impeachment against VP Stewart during the Oct. 9 senate meeting. That motion failed, however, it was soon discovered that a procedural mistake was made during that meeting and that the articles should have been read.
Senate President Leland Dunwoodie said that there was an accidental reversal in the rules regarding the voting process in relation to objections.
“Where I went wrong is that a two-thirds vote is needed to sustain the objection,” Dunwoodie told The Tiger a few weeks ago. “I thought it was that two-thirds is needed to overrule the objection … It was an honest mistake; I truly apologize.”
Because Dunwoodie admitted to the procedural error, the sustained objection was thrown out, and Hoffman was able to reintroduce the articles.
Hoffman reintroduced the articles during the Oct. 23 senate meeting, and senators voted 40-18 (by secret ballot) to call an impeachment trial.
Hoffman referenced the allegations made in a document that was published online by FITSNews on Oct. 3. The document appeared to detail allegations of misconduct against Stewart.
Clemson University spokesperson John Gouch was unable to confirm or deny the validity of the document.
Hoffman said that some of the allegations were verified by OCES and one of the complainants listed in the document is a current CUSG senator. Hoffman said that with the facts that he found, along with the allegations, that Stewart could be unfit for his job as CUSG VP.
Hoffman also said during the Oct. 23 meeting that his concerns regarding Stewart have nothing to do with race nor the pledge protests that Stewart has been under fire for. A few students in the gallery implied such at that meeting.
“Such a narrative is without evidence and completely untrue,” Hoffman said.
The senators went back and forth in a debate during the Oct. 23 meeting for more than two hours about whether and not to call for an impeachment trial. Senators debated the authenticity and legality of the document in question pertaining to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Leaking the document is a FERPA violation for the university, not students or news outlets.
Senators also debated being able to be transparent with constituents and allowing Stewart the chance to defend himself in a forum.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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