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Hall denies janitor’s closet claims, addresses relationship with SGA

Teri+Hall%2C+Vice+President+of+student+affairs+addresses+the+Wichita+State+faculty+senate+on+March+27th.
Teri Hall, Vice President of student affairs addresses the Wichita State faculty senate on March 27th.

Teri Hall, Vice President of student affairs addresses the Wichita State faculty senate on March 27th.

Matt Crow

Matt Crow

Teri Hall, Vice President of student affairs addresses the Wichita State faculty senate on March 27th.

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Representatives from activist group We the Students spoke at faculty senate on Monday to present their concerns to and answer questions from faculty members. Among the concerns were comments allegedly made by Vice President of Student Affairs Teri Hall recommending that Muslim students use a water bucket in a janitor’s closet to wash themselves in order to pray.

The alleged comments came in response to a push by students for the installation of a wash station on campus to accommodate Muslim students and allow them to pray.

Students have reported seeing signs posted at several bathrooms around campus, including one in Neff Hall, asking that students not wash their feet in the sinks.

The issues the group presented echoed the focus of the sit-in held in President Bardo’s office as well as a vote of no confidence taken by the student senate, both of which took place earlier this month and were led by the group. These include a perceived lack of transparency from university administrators, shared governance, recent unexplained resignations on campus, sexual assault and the interfaith prayer space.

Taben Azad, who served as student body vice president until his suspension last week, was one of the speakers for the group.

The alleged comments have been cited extensively by activist group We the Students — and others — to point out the university’s alleged unwillingness to accommodate Muslim students.

Teri Hall was invited to the faculty senate to address the concerns raised by students.

Hall denied recommending Muslim students wash their feet in a bucket in a janitor’s closet.

“What I did say when I met with the Muslim Student Association executive board, I said that construction is going to take some time. And that what we could do is take a janitor’s closet, take it offline, clean it up, get stools in there, as a place that could be used until some construction could take place,” Hall said.

“That was a short term solution that I offered that has been wildly misquoted and exaggerated in all kinds of ways,” Hall said.

One faculty senator said he was concerned that students were this upset.

He cited the revolving door of the Student Affairs department and addressed Hall when describing a “clearly unhealthy relationship between you and the people you’re supposed to be representing.”

Hall acknowledged that the relationship between university administration and the current student government cabinet is a tense one. She said she hoped that would change when a new cabinet is elected in April.

“It’s not untypical when a new advisor comes in that there are problems,” Hall said.

“My plan was, we have (SGA) elections in a week and then, when those new folks are elected, to really focus on a relationship with them,” Hall said.

“I came into relationships that are broken already — and I’m sure I haven’t done anything to help them,” Hall said.

“But I don’t know that I could have done something to help the rift between SGA and the administration.”

14 Comments
  • shocker student

    SGA is a joke of an organization now. Completely unrespectable.

    [Reply]

  • SomeRealName

    Teri Hall is a disrespectful, hateful, and a bigoted joke of a person. #ResignHall

    [Reply]

  • The Antithesis of Democracy.

    Teri Hall said:

    “My plan was, we have (SGA) elections in a week and then, when those new folks are elected, to really focus on a relationship with them,” Hall said.

    “I came into relationships that are broken already — and I’m sure I haven’t done anything to help them,” Hall said.

    “But I don’t know that I could have done something to help the rift between SGA and the administration.”

    Whoa…

    Did she really admit to plan on getting rid of people so she could get along with different people? …Because the current students don’t agree with her? … Wait, what?

    Teri Hall HAS BEEN planning to get rid of people? Suspending Azad? Christine-Schneikert-Leubbe disappears? Shepard, a muckraker, a whistle-blower?

    Is any of this actually about the students? The Student Government Association is made up of students. But it really becomes more apparent everyday as Teri speaks for herself, that none of her work shows to be in support of students. It really is about herself. She seems very aggressive in her leadership role, being forceful in her opinions, and disrupting the order of SGA.

    Teri, this is not your job.

    It looks to be that she is overreaching the boundaries of her role. She admits her plans to get rid of people so that she can replace them with students who think like she does and will make decisions like she does. Is that considered a pre-determined rigged election?

    That’s just an odd idea of logic. What if there was an election for Teri’s position. Technically we didn’t all elect her to represent us. As Teri described her plans for the next SGA election I was surprised how honest she was to the public. However her definition of fair election isn’t very fair. Her functional understanding of democracy at our school is the antithesis of democracy.

    I think Abraham Lincoln captures the essence of true democracy at the Gettysburg Address:

    “that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government OF the people BY the people FOR the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

    The government is made up of US. We vote. We DECIDE who will represent US.
    We decide FOR good and benefit of ALL of US.

    [Reply]

    NotJosephShepard Reply:

    I think you have not been following this story, as well as other crapshoots, that these groups of students are trying to do to the university. You don’t understand that SGA is better not heard and not seen.

    [Reply]

    The Antithesis of Democracy Reply:

    In reply to notjosephshepard, if “not seen or heard”…then what do you want students to be?

    [Reply]

  • Rachel Lee

    “I came into relationships that were broken …. ” Isn’t that exactly what Christine came into? No doubt she lost her job because of those broken relationships. At least she tried to help. She was an advocate for all students. You go on record saying, ” I am sure I haven’t done anything to help them.” Wow, looks like the VPSA/SGA revolving door needs to revolve at least one more time with you on the other side of it. Pitiful. You have been a huge disappointment. The person we interviewed last fall never showed up! #ResignHall

    [Reply]

  • #ResignHall

    Sorry, Teri, it’s been real, it’s been bad. It’s been really, really bad. It’s not me, because it’s definitely you. I want to be able to pray freely, not in a closet, but in a proper and respectable place for me to exercise my religion. We don’t see eye to eye and neither do you and the United States Constitution’s First Amendment Right that I have…and so do you:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Teri, I’m sorry, we’re just not going to work out. And I’m breaking up with you.
    #ResignHall

    [Reply]

  • Real Shocker

    Teri saying she didn’t help things pretty much sums it up. She didn’t even try. She was told by Bardo and Schlapp what to think about Joseph and Taben and the current SGA and that they will work to get Paige Hungate elected so that they can get along with her since Paige is good friends with the Schlapp family and the WSU administration. When Teri started and learned about how Christine and other staff in Student Affairs had been treated she said Student Affairs wasn’t going to take that s$it any more. I guess that changed when Teri learned the lay of the land and the consequences for independent thinking.

    Teri told people she was so surprised about Christine’s “resignation” and knew nothing about it. Really? Then why was Teri wanting to talk with Christine at the airport when they got back from the NASPA conference to be sure she wasn’t in the office packing her boxes so students wouldn’t see that and get upset before they were gone on Spring Break?

    There is a major legal document that is supposed to prevent WSU or Christine from talking about her “resignation”. Some students have indicated some WSU administrators have talked about it and given various reasons. Anyone who has been part of a direct conversation where the “resignation” was discussed at all need to call Christine’s attorney immediately and let him know what was said. His name is Tyler Heffron of Tripplet, Woolf, and Garretson, LLC here in Wichita. The phone number is 316-630-8100.

    [Reply]

  • Tex

    I think Dr. Hall is doing a fine job with the mess she’s been handed with SGA. You can’t always control what cards you’re dealt in life, but I think she’s responding professionally and trying her best to work with a bunch of stubborn brats.

    #ImWithHer

    [Reply]

    The Antithesis of Democracy Reply:

    Tex, I am curious to learn about the things she makes you proud. With absolutely no sarcasm, I would like to know about the great things she does. Do you mind expressing those cards? Expressing who the brats are and why?

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Tex Reply:

    I think Dr. Hall stepping in to try to work with the toxic environment of bullying in SGA speaks to her character. Shepard was investigated for bullying under the Student Code of Conduct—you can check his Facebook page, the letter is visible to the public and redacted to remove the complainant’s name.

    In this letter, it cites that members of SGA described the “climate in SGA as toxic and stressful.” It further goes on to state that several members of SGA indicated that “[Shepard] had a role in perpetuating this climate by responding negatively to opposition and allowing personal and political disputes to hinder the work of the organization.”

    Based on the testimonies I’ve been able to corroborate from first hand accounts, there were several instances within the SGA Office of Shepard bullying other students, yelling at them, calling them worthless and other choice names—all because they dared to disagree with him or what he was trying to do.

    I find it paradoxical that he wants his freedom of speech and expression observed but he doesn’t seem to want to afford those same rights to other students if they disagree with him.

    And Dr. Hall had to inherit working with this brat and his cronies—she had to deal with Shepard, Azad, and the other Cabinet members bullying their fellow students to get their way and get their agenda pushed through Senate.

    Hope that clears up any confusion.

    [Reply]

  • Shocker Til Death

    It would seem that Christine’s resignation flowed from her absence from that disastrous meeting when We The Students barged in (with the support of the ringleader Taben) and initially proposed to call for Bardo’s resignation. Why is anyone surprised that there were questions when she returned home? Who would have confidence in her ability to supervise the SGA after that fiasco? She failed. Interesting that someone knows enough to post Christine’s attorney information like that. Christine likely signed a nondisclosure agreement as part of her severance agreement. That is standard procedure when someone leaves with severance. They have to sign off on lots of things to get paid. If she wanted to take some principled stand on behalf of the students in SGA, she would not have signed the agreement and taken the money. Sorry. It is true. You weren’t THAT important to her. Everyone has their limits.

    Dr. Hall was hired to do a very tough job. I don’t find it particularly odd that they are hoping for a more reasonable student leadership who they can talk and reason with. Paige has a lot of support for getting answers to reasonable questions and concerns. Her approach just seems more respectful and reasonable. She has stated that. I will be voting for the candidate that can have mature conversation with the administration and move the ball forward. Unlike the current leadership that organize against the administration, hold sit ins, write open letters that are ridiculous, go over the administration’s head to the KBOR, etc. #ImWithHer as well.

    [Reply]

    Real Shocker Reply:

    What reasonable questions and concerns are Paige seeking answers for? Haven’t heard her say a word on any topic.

    [Reply]

  • oh no

    So, now that Teri Hall voted in the people that she wanted, does this mean that she’s become magically untouchable? This election really gives Hall a lot of power. Oh no.

    [Reply]

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