Clemson University's student body vice president narrowly avoided impeachment by two votes after his impeachment trial came to an end early Tuesday.
Clemson's student senate voted 42-16, with six abstaining votes, in favor of impeaching Jaren Stewart, the student body vice president. A two-thirds majority — 44 votes — was needed to remove Stewart from his position.
The impeachment trial began at 7 p.m. Monday and went on throughout the night as student senators heard from witnesses and debated for and against impeaching their vice president. Senators voted by paper ballot nearly 11 hours later.
The impeachment trial stems from student senator Miller Hoffman's motion for a trial on Oct. 9. Hoffman, who said his motives had nothing to do with race, said during a senate meeting that he had doubts about Stewart's ability to lead after a university incident report concerning Stewart was published online on Oct. 3.
The incident report, dated April 27, was written by a complainant who is a member of the student senate. A community director filed the complaint to Clemson's Office of Community and Ethical Standards.
Stewart confirmed it is an authentic document but said the claims are exaggerated. The report alleges Stewart, while working as an resident assistant, would spend time in the complainant's room without invitation and take items without permission.
"Upon entering the room, whether they were in the room or not, he would take food, cleaning supplies and their vacuum," the report said. "Similarly, there were times that he would enter their room after his Rugby matches and he would leave the room covered in sweat, dirt and grass."
On Sept. 25, prior to when the incident report was leaked, Stewart was one of several students to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance at a senate meeting in protest of racial tensions on campus and across the country.
Stewart, who is black, said in an interview with the Anderson Independent Mail last month he believes the impeachment push was a response to his form of protest.
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