Barclay Harless is finally doing the right thing for Student Government with his resignation. SG’s reputation and standing, in the hearts and minds of the student body, has been greatly weakened – not only by the allegations of impropriety at a Bulls Night Out Event June 14, but also by SG’s reaction under his leadership.
Alcohol is said to have been present in SG’s Marshall Center office suite that evening, and Harless, who claims not to have imbibed, says he planned to drink. Both the presence of alcohol and drinking constitute flagrant violations of the code of conduct.
Harless’s missteps didn’t stop there, however. Later that night, SAFE Team – an SG organization that provides rides on campus at night – is said to have transported freshmen attending the orientation event to Beta Theta Pi Fraternity house, of which Harless is a member.
As detailed by the Oracle on Sept. 6, Beta Theta Pi is also under investigation for violation of alcohol policies.
The news of SAFE Team’s illicit rides came less than a month after SG shut it down for two weeks over the summer to address long-standing issues of impropriety, including people who were non-SAFE Team members driving golf-carts.
Harless is now being investigated by student Judicial Services for misleading administrators and violating the code of conduct.
On Friday, Harless’ chief and deputy chief of staff fired three senior members of the executive branch.
The firings are furhter examples of the fevered pitch of tensions within SG.
Harless resignation is also a savvy move he plans any future in politics. By resigning from his position as student body president, he avoids impending impeachment.
As reported in today’s Oracle, “Nathan Davison…planned to carry out impeachment charges the three fired staffers had discussed bringing up before their dismissal.”
In a prepared statement, Harless said he thought his resignation was in “the best interest of Student Government,” and that “isolated internal issues have brought unnecessary negative attention to the organization as a whole, and this does not accurately portray how hard we have been working for you, the students.”
Harless’ assessment of his resignation is dead-on: SG now has an opportunity to rebuild an image battered by secrecy and wrongdoing during Harless’ tenure as president.
This is not an easy job, considering the student body is right if it’s not immediately convinced “how hard” SG has been working for it, in light of recent events.
It is a job that vice president Garin Flowers – who will become SG president once Harless’ resignation is effective – must do, however, should he want the student support necessary to institute an ambitious agenda.