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Clemson University’s student Senate voted Monday to impeach the student government’s vice president, who recently refused to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.
Student senators voted 40-18 to impeach vice president Jaren Stewart. Stewart was out of town Monday at a conference in Washington, D.C., the Anderson Independent Mail reports.
An impeachment trial for Stewart will be set for a later date. If successful, Stewart will be removed from office.
Student Sen. Miller Hoffman, who introduced the impeachment resolution, said his motion was made because of misconduct allegations against Stewart, dating from his time as a resident assistant in a dormitory, the Clemson Tiger reports.
Hoffman denied his motion was motivated by Stewart’s pledge protest or race. Stewart is black. Hoffman is white.
“Such a narrative is without evidence and completely untrue,” Hoffman said.
Stewart and other students sat through the Pledge of Allegiance at a Sept. 25 student government meeting – a protest that was continued at Monday’s meeting by others. In September, Stewart said students sat through the pledge in solidarity with NFL players protesting police brutality and racial oppression.
Hoffman introduced a similar impeachment resolution against Stewart at the Senate’s Oct. 9 meeting. That motion also passed, but the Senate president ruled the motion didn’t win the required two-thirds vote. That ruling later was found to be in error, leading to Monday’s re-vote.
Other senators objected to the re-vote because Stewart was absent, as were the student body president and attorney general. They argued Stewart should be able to question the impeachment accusations before the vote.