Following the joint session’s inability to meet quorum for the conviction of Student Government President Connor Clegg, constituents held an overnight sit-in protest.
With pillows, blankets and a pile of snacks, the protestors took to the fourth floor of the LBJ Student Center to protest and create a list of requests to be met by the administration. The requests call for the immediate denouncement and removal of Clegg by Dean of Students Arellano and President Denise Trauth, denouncement of the absent senators by Arellano and Trauth, and that Trauth and her cabinet establish tangible action to address the needs of students of color.
Protesting constituents were found studying for upcoming tests, discussing the policies that have furthered minority oppression, and making posters. Additionally, as prospective students and parents passed through LBJ, protestors met with them to discuss the current issues minority students are facing on campus.
Emmy Orioha, political science junior and president of the Pan African Action Committee, spent the night in the theatre and said he will stay there until the requests are met.
“As long as (the administration) continues to not tell us when and how our requests are going to be met, we have no other option but to assume that they aren’t going to be met,” Orioha said. “If we have no other option to assume that it’s not going to get done, then we have no other option than to stand here.”
Tafari Robertson, public relations senior and former president of the Pan African Action Committee, said representatives will be sent to the town hall meeting hosted by Trauth but the majority of the protesting body will remain at LBJ.
“We’ve been to the Round Table and we’ve been in private meetings,” Robertson said. “We’ve had these conversations and they know what we want. At this point, we’re really tired of it and we need our demands met now.”
The Graduate House of Representatives released a statement that said that, even in the absence of a quorum, there could have been a vote. Student Government Vice President Jacqueline Merritt, however, failed to recognize the motion proposed by House Leader Mael Le Noc. The House said they were disappointed in the outcome of the joint session.
“We were hopeful for a joint session in which the house and the Senate could resolve the ongoing issues revolving around current student body president, Conner Clegg, and are disappointed this did not happen,” the House stated.
Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, which is followed by Student Government, states that there is an exception that could have been made: “Where an important opportunity would be lost unless acted upon immediately, the members present can, at their own risk, act in the emergency with the hope that their action will be ratified by a later meeting.”