SGA censures Senator Samuel McCrory over statement they say is false



Screenshot from Wednesday’s student government meeting, where the student senate voted to censure a student senator after a false statement

The Student Government Association censured Senator Samuel McCrory at their meeting Wednesday. A censure is a formal reprimanding of an official due to inappropriate actions or statements, but does not remove the senator from office. This follows a statement made by McCory at last week’s meeting where he called certain identity-based groups “discriminatory.” 

“There are already racially discriminatory groups on campus that have RSO status on campus for instance the international student leftist association, the Black Student Union … I know there’s also an Asain group, there’s an Arab group … there’s all kinds of discriminatory groups,” McCrory said. 

Vice President Kamilah Gumbs responded to McCrory’s comment last week, clarifying that anyone is allowed to join these organizations. 

“Even if you do not identify with the name of the group, you can still be a member of that group,” Gumbs said.

The resolution stated that McCrory’s comment was proven false, meaning he broke SGA’s code of conduct which reads: “No SGA official shall make, directly, any oral or written public statements that are false, proven through objective evidence, of the Student Government Association, any of its present officers, or its Constitution, Bylaws, Codes, procedures, and regulations.”

The author of the bill and the chair of the diversity, equity and inclusion committee Omarian Brantley said that senators need to be held to a high standard when making public comments.

“This is about us as senators upholding honest values and showing the bare minimum of respect to the students we were elected to represent,” Brantley said.

Brantley said that it’s important to recognize these students instead of dis-validating them and their experiences. 

“[These organizations] have been on campus for numerous years and have been safe spaces for various students from various backgrounds,” Brantley said. “As senators we need to remember it is a privilege to serve students and when we make comments in our SGA capacity that those comments carry weight.

“When we as senators devalue and defame these organizations, we devalue the students in those organizations, we devalue their work and their story.”

McCory argued against the claim and stated that he was not false in calling these organizations discriminatory.

“The only RSO I mentioned that is not racially discriminatory in their name is the Intersectional Student Leftist Association,” McCrory said.

Even though Brantley called on McCrory to publicly apologize for these statements, McCrory publicly refused. 

“[If] we allow this dysfunctional democratic charade to play out, as long as Christ is king, I will never apologize for the truth, whether it means death or a flimsy senate review board meeting,” McCrory said.

McCrory has been known to spark controversy. In April, he wore a “white lives matter” mask to a swearing-in event and has since worn it to the majority of SGA meetings and mainly asks questions related to freedom of speech. McCrory has also used a confederate flag virtual background at the majority of virtual meetings this semester.

Many senators spoke in favor of the censure, with only one speaking in negation.

“I think it is clear that the prejudiced language that has been exemplified by this senator throughout this session does an incredible disservice to the amazing diversity we have at Wichita State,” Senator Ella Perkins said.

Senator Jozie Caudillo said that these comments can lead to an unsafe environment for students of color.

“We simply cannot allow for that type of behavior to continue because it can actually result in direct actions to these groups, which is the real discrimination resulting from these statements,” Caudillo said.

Senator Ted Angleton was the only one who spoke in negation of the resolution.

“As long as you are on U.S. soil, you are protected with what you have to say and the idea of censure is in all regards against that freedom to speak freely, even if you are at the head or a part of a body that speaks for a greater group of people,” Angleton said.

Senator Kathlyn Short said that senators are held to a higher standard. 

“Based on our code of ethics that we passed earlier in this session, we aren’t actually allowed to speak freely as senators,” Short said. “There is a higher standard that we are held to just because … you are representing a bunch of people.”