More than 100 call for ouster of Texas State Student Government leader


Highlights

Clegg said last week he would not resign and that he does not fear an impeachment attempt.

Clegg apologized for his “foolish comments” on social media.

More than 100 students rallied Monday night at Texas State University, calling for the ouster of Student Government President Connor Clegg at a raucous meeting of the student Senate.

Student groups, including the Pan African Action Committee, said Clegg should be removed from office after several of his old Instagram posts surfaced last week with racist and other offensive comments.

“Tell me, Connor, how can I trust you as my president?” said Emmy Orioha, president of the Pan African Action Committee. “I’m telling you to do what’s right or have every single student here continue to come out.”

Dozens of students carrying signs with messages such as “Don’t defend racism” chanted “Hey hey, ho ho, Connor Clegg has got to go,” before the student government hearing began.

After being addressed by mostly angry students over nearly two hours, Clegg said he would announce whether he will step down within a week. “I didn’t come here tonight to talk, I came to listen to all of you,” he said. “Again, I’m sorry. I’ve taken everything you’ve said to heart.”

Student leaders said they would pursue Clegg’s impeachment through the student Senate if he doesn’t step down. Clegg had previously told the American-Statesman he would not resign and that he didn’t think his opponents had the votes to force him out.

The heated student government hearing comes as Texas State University grapples with more than a year of racially charged incidents. Since the November 2016 election, Texas State has been targeted by neo-Nazi hate groups that have hung banners across campus buildings and distributed racist flyers on a regular basis. The school is also struggling with issues of free speech and last week hosted a Texas Senate committee hearing about free speech on college campuses.

Several students of color said at the hearing they feel unsafe on campus after dark because of the threatening flyers. One woman told student leaders she carries a boxcutter when walking home.

Many students also directed their ire at Texas State President Denise Trauth, who they say hasn’t adequately addressed the white supremacist groups targeting the campus. “Impeach Clegg, impeach Trauth, impeach Trump,” one student cried out at the hearing.

A small number of speakers and student representatives spoke out in Clegg’s defense.

Clegg had previously clashed with student activists and the University Star after the newspaper printed a column on “whiteness” that Trauth called out as racist. Clegg threatened to defund the student paper if the column’s writer and editor did not resign. Columnist Rudy Martinez was later fired by the newspaper’s editorial board.

READ: Texas State hosts forum on campus free speech

Last week, Martinez published Clegg’s offensive Instagram posts on his Facebook page.

Clegg apologized for his “foolish comments” on Instagram made while traveling in Europe before enrolling at the school.

“I had no idea about the beauty of rich diversity,” he said. “I’ve learned to value these other cultures and worked to expand my horizons here at Texas State.”

Over the weekend, flyers and graffiti targeting Clegg and Trauth were found on campus, according to the University Star. In one flyer, a photo of Clegg and Trauth was edited with the label “Racist” over Clegg’s eyes and the word “Enabler” over Trauth. A spray-painted message on a campus building read, “President Trauth Supports Racism. Step Down,” before it was covered up.

BACKGROUND: Clashes at Texas colleges highlighted free speech issues in 2017



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Officials: Grand jury indicts son of slain jeweler on capital murder charge
Officials: Grand jury indicts son of slain jeweler on capital murder charge

A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Nicolas Shaughnessy, who Travis County investigators have accused of planning to kill his father, on a charge of capital murder, court records show. A two-page indictment said Shaughnessy “knowingly caused the death of an individual” by hiring a man detectives identified as 21-year-old Johnny...
Some Austin-area schools get failing scores under new grading system
Some Austin-area schools get failing scores under new grading system

Multiple campuses in a handful of Austin-area school districts failed to meet Texas academic standards under the state’s new letter grade accountability system. Under the new statewide system, districts on Wednesday received A-through-F letter grades and campuses were labeled “met requirement” or “improvement required.&rdquo...
Fire crews fighting home blaze in Bee Cave
Fire crews fighting home blaze in Bee Cave

Firefighters are fighting a home blaze in Bee Cave, according to Austin fire officials. The fire was reported at 2608 Cascade Falls near Bee Cave Road around 2 p.m. Wednesday. Austin fire, Oak Hill and Ce-Bar are on scene assisting. A heavy fire in the garage with vehicles were involved in the fire. This story is developing; check back for updates...
BLOTTER: Men steal guns from South Austin pawn shop, feds say
BLOTTER: Men steal guns from South Austin pawn shop, feds say

SOUTH AUSTIN Feds: Men steal guns, jewelry from pawn shop Two men on Monday robbed a South Austin pawn shop, threatening an employee with a sledgehammer and breaking display cases, according to officials with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The men stole five pistols and over $6,000 in jewelry, officials said. The robbery...
Austin man accused of stealing rifle from Round Rock police car
Austin man accused of stealing rifle from Round Rock police car

An Austin man is accused of stealing an AR-15 rifle from a locked gun rack inside a Round Rock police car, according to an arrest affidavit. Louis Philip Reyes, 26, was charged with theft of a firearm, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years behind bars. On June 22, Round Rock police discovered the rifle was stolen from a patrol car at an...
More Stories