Shepard’s resolution to remove himself from office was dramatic, frivolous

Student Body President Joseph Shepard authored a resolution last week calling for his resignation from his position.

The resolution was presented — to everyone’s surprise — to the Student Government Association meeting Wednesday. The theatrics threw most senators off guard, and they ultimately decided to delay the resolution until the Dec. 2 meeting.

It was Shepard’s way of retaliating to certain members of the Senate going behind his back to gossip about his leadership in private group text messages.

“I thought, ‘If senators are shaking with my leadership, if they don’t know whether or not they want me to be their leader, let me give them the opportunity to take me out of office,” Shepard said last week.

Shepard’s actions were sensational and sudden, especially given a confusing week for the student body, with a list of demands, “the-protest-that-was,” an agreed-upon solution with President John Bardo and other accusations.

While Shepard has vied for answers and used a take-no-prisoner approach toward the administration — which is commendable — it is the The Sunflower’s opinion that a resolution calling for his own resignation was unnecessary and perhaps inappropriate.

Sen. Paige Hungate called it a “mockery,” and chairman of SGA’s Campus Issues Committee, Matthew Brinkmeyer, said the timing was unfair and impeachment shouldn’t be up to the Senate.

“We are not senators representing ourselves, we are senators representing the student body,” Brinkmeyer said Wednesday. “There are probably people that want him removed and I think that if they are going to have that discussion, they should be the ones bringing it to the floor, not him.”

Sen. Paul Brink was one of the first to speak during Wednesday’s resolution discussion and said, “I don’t think we should ever bring a resolution like this to the floor. I think it’s disrespectful to our institution.”

Meanwhile, Shepard said he was trying to be upfront or what he calls, transparent.

“I know there are senators who do want me removed and instead of being transparent and saying it in front of everyone, they’d rather beat around the bush and they’d rather not be open and honest,” Shepard said last week.

However, there are better ways to handle disagreement.

While Shepard may think he’s meeting indirect criticism with transparency, airing the dirty laundry of a handful of people — the people you lead in office — in front of the public is undignified.

Bringing the resolution to the floor himself proved ineffective in combatting indirectness when the resolution was tabled. Instead, take those in opposition forthright for an honest discussion to resolve personal disputes face-to-face.

Further, Shepard should trust the people the student body has elected to run student government. These are some of the best and brightest students on campus, representing a variety of backgrounds. If they so choose to call for Shepard’s resignation, let them be the ones to voice those concerns at the right time, in the right place, with the right audience.

It is The Sunflower’s opinion that those students are not “beating around the bush.” In fact, the majority ultimately pledged their support for Shepard on Wednesday. They have a voice and know how to use it.