President Denise Trauth held a town hall meeting at the LBJ Student Center Ballroom at noon as a response to students’ frustrations over the inability to convict Student Government President Clegg because of a failed quorum.
A group of students refused to leave the LBJ Teaching Theater yesterday after 19 senators failed to appear, effectively ending the joint session on account of a failed quorum. These constituents began a sit-in protest and stayed overnight. Currently, they plan on staying in LBJ until their demands are met.
Several protestors gathered before the town-hall meeting and chanted, “I believe that we will win,” as they stood in front of a poster that read “total exploitation, no representation.”
President Denise Trauth said that the reason for the meeting was to hear the students and what they had to say. Soon after Trauth finished talking, students lined behind the microphone stand and waited their turn to speak. Every student was limited to three minutes, which had to be reiterated throughout the event so each student could be given a chance to speak.
The meeting was originally scheduled to last an hour but Trauth stayed until 2:15 p.m. Due to the number of students, Trauth was unable able to answer all the students that were lined behind the two microphone stands.
“What you are saying pains me deeply, and I regret that I can’t stay,” Trauth said.
Rhett Parr, social work sophomore, has been on an attempt to get news outlets to cover the protest said there’s a lot of anger directed towards Trauth.
“We talked to the cabinet and said we want action and we’re tired of this dialogue,” Parr said. “They said they’re putting together a task force to hold senators accountable for not showing up, but we’re not seeing the removal of Clegg and the action we need to take place.”
Soon after, Trauth exited the ballroom with students trailing behind her. Constituents followed Student Government Vice President Jacqueline Merritt and senators to their office, asking senators why they were absent from the joint session. Afterward, Merritt and the senators were followed to the Matthews Street Garage. Once in the garage, students held hands and blocked the exit by forming a line in front of the police car escorting Merrit and the senators.
The University Police Department warned these students to stop blocking the exit or face arrests. After much opposition, students allowed for the UPD vehicle to leave. Students embraced each other in support and proceeded to head back to the sit-in protest at the LBJ.
Cassidy Wright, social work junior, presented the demands from protestors at the town hall.
“Unfortunately, everything that happened in the town hall was everything I expected, because Denise Trauth does this thing where she does a lot of talking in circles and doesn’t really pay attention,” Wright said. “With nothing, we’ll just keep resisting. We’re not going to leave this sit-in until we get the answers that we want.”