The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Jordan Gould drops out of VSG election, admits to being present at Sigma Chi North/South week

According to VSG Statute 5.6.6, write-in candidates are still eligible for nomination, meaning that the election will proceed normally.
Sigma+Chi+on+Greek+Row.+Picture+taken+on+Nov.+15%2C+2020.+%28Hustler+Multimedia%2FHallie+Williams%29
Hallie Williams
Sigma Chi on Greek Row. Picture taken on Nov. 15, 2020. (Hustler Multimedia/Hallie Williams)

Junior Jordan Gould has dropped out of the 2021 VSG presidential election, per a March 22 Instagram video statement released at 9:26 a.m CDT. Gould was a part of the Gould/Amisha Mittal ticket that was running against the Hannah Bruns/Kayla Prowell ticket.

In the video, Gould admitted to being present at North/South week hosted by his fraternity, Vanderbilt’s Alpha Psi chapter of Sigma Chi fraternity.

“I was present at and had knowledge of my fraternity’s North/South week during rush my freshman year,” Gould said in his statement. “Instead of taking accountability, I lied to my team.”

Gould clarified that the claims within an Oct. 15, 2020, Instagram infographic posted by @abolishvandyifcandpanhellenic, representing the Abolish Greek Life (AGL) movement, were inaccurate. 

“The racism that existed is limited to the name of the event and dividing of teams based on cardinal directions,” Gould said in a message to The Hustler. “The allegations about the event in the AGL post including the presence of a Confederate flag, chants of  ‘the South will rise again,’ that the event was a longstanding tradition, or that any member chose a side based on ‘support’ are completely inaccurate and false.”

The Hustler obtained an October 2018 email that announced a Sigma Chi event called a “North/South week.”

“This week we draw the battle lines and celebrate the 79th annual Sigma Chi North/South Week. Our house is historically divided among Southerners and Northerners, so, we like to determine which half of the country reigns supreme,” the email stated.

Screenshot taken of the email on March 22, 2021. (Hustler Staff/Jessica M. Barker)

Callen DiGiovanni, 2019 Sigma Chi president, stated in Sigma Chi chapter minutes from Aug. 26, 2019, obtained by The Hustler that there was “no more North/South week.” 

“The last time any event resembling North/South divisions was held in the fall of 2018. I was actually the president who cancelled the event, an action I took in April of 2019 for preparation for the fall of 2019,” DiGiovanni said in a message to The Hustler.

Cade Bennett, current president Sigma Chi, did not respond to The Hustler’s request for comment. The national Sigma Chi Fraternity and Kristen Torrey, director of the Office of Greek Life, did not immediately respond to The Hustler’s request for comment.

Gould apologized to the members of his campaign, his running mate and the opposing ticket for any harm caused. He also apologized specifically for the now-deleted statement his campaign issued on Friday, March 19 in response to both tickets’ first campaign suspension

“I am sorry to Hannah and Kayla, and to everyone in the student body who has been hurt by my words and actions,” Gould said. “There is no excuse for my participation in that event, for my lies and for the misogynoir in my campaign’s official statement.”

Bruns and Prowell have not immediately responded to requests for comment. Mittal declined to comment on the Gould statement and has not responded to inquiries regarding her status as a candidate in the upcoming election.

According to VSG Statute 5.6.6, write-in candidates are still eligible for nomination, meaning that the election will proceed normally. VSG Elections Commission Deputy Jordyn Perry, a junior, confirmed that any student who missed the deadlines required for regular eligibility and fulfills the qualifications listed by the above statute can be nominated on the ballot. 

“The Elections Commission shall not undertake the responsibility for informing the student body of candidates which have qualified as write-in candidates, and shall not place the name of qualified write-in candidates upon the ballot,” the statute reads.

Statutes 5.3.2 and 5.6.8 add that if a write-in candidate ties with an official candidate and the election culminates in an exact tie, the write-in candidate will be listed as an official candidate on the ballot in the runoff electionif that candidate reaches a threshold of the number of signatures required to be placed on that position’s ballot.

Gould said he plans to learn from this experience and expressed gratitude for his campaign team. 

I will continue to educate myself and work on being a better friend and member of the Vanderbilt community,” Gould said. “I am proud to have worked with so many incredible and authentic people throughout this journey.”

View comments (15)
About the Contributors
Immanual John Milton, Former Editor in Chief
Immanual John Milton ('22) is from Minneapolis, MN. He studies computer science, economics and business. Before being Editor in Chief, Immanual was a deputy news editor. He can be reached at [email protected].    
Jonathan Liu, Former Deputy News Editor
Jonathan Liu (‘24) is from Fremont, California. He is pursuing a major in Neuroscience and Music with a minor in Medicine, Health and Society. You can reach him at [email protected].
Charlotte Mauger, Staff Writer
Charlotte Mauger ('24) is a student in the College of Arts and Science majoring in public policy with a minor in French. When not writing for The Hustler, you can find her on FaceTime with her cats, watching movies or exploring all Nashville has to offer. You can reach her at [email protected].
Avery Muir, Former Managing Editor
Avery Muir ('21) is from Bethesda, MD. She studied political science and economics in the College of Arts and Science. Avery has been on staff since her first year at Vanderbilt, previously serving as a staff writer, Life Editor and then Copy Editor. In her free time, Avery likes drinking way too much coffee and exploring the Nashville food scene. You can reach her at [email protected].    
Rachael Perrotta, Senior Advisor
Rachael Perrotta ('24) is from Cranston, R.I., and is majoring in cognitive studies, communication of science and technology and political science in Peabody College. She was previously Editor-in-Chief and News Editor. If she's not pressing you for a comment, she's probably trying to convince you that she's over 5 feet tall, cheering on the Red Sox or wishing Nashville had a beach. She can be reached at [email protected].
Hallie Williams, Former Deputy Multimedia Director
Hallie Williams (‘24) is a student in Peabody College studying Human & Organizational Development. You can reach her at [email protected].
More to Discover

Comments (15)

The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
All The Vanderbilt Hustler picks Reader picks Sort: Newest
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
15 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
J
John
2 years ago

So now there is only one party to vote for to represent the entire student body..? How do we expect anyone to be able to come forward and run on issues they are passionate about if this type of cancel culture is permitted. Nobody, nobody is innocent of hurtful and immature decisions as a freshman in college.

M
martin
2 years ago
Reply to  John

he lied. this is not cancel culture.

A
Anon
2 years ago
Reply to  martin

He was cancelled for “lying” (aka not mentioning it earlier, which would’ve gotten him cancelled anyway). Regardless, is this really a good thing? To have one ticket, whether you call it cancel-culture or not, is actively hurting the student body and open dialogue. Now conservative students will just feel even more silenced, as anyone who hopes to represent them is crushed by harassment. Do we really want our opposition feeling this way? If this continues we will be completely incapable of engaging in open dialogue about real issues. No one wants to talk about real problems when uttering their opinion gets every mistake they’ve ever made exposed, in order to destroy their livelihood and wellbeing.

H
Hannah Sterling
2 years ago
Reply to  Anon

people asked him about it and he lied – that’s why he dropped out. he said it in his statement.

L
lol
2 years ago
Reply to  Anon

really? don’t paint conservative students’ only values as wanting greek life and defending a racist frat activity.

T
Tom Levensailor
2 years ago

One, and the main, aim and object of Sigma Chi has been, and is, to develop and train broad-minded men who can recognize the wholeness of things and who are not bound down to a contracted, eight-by-ten notion of exclusiveness. There is an absolute necessity for such men.

Benjamin P. Runkle

MIAMI (OHIO) 1857

None of us is perfect, save Jesus, in my opinion and experience. An organization founded on developing inclusion and character 164 years ago during our dark time of healing deserves to be supported and survive. Not being totally transparent about all of our choices as a Freshman in college yields similar exclusivity… I would vote for Jordan as a write-in based on what I have read. I was born in Maine and grew up in Kawerau, New Zealand and Mobile, Alabama. I saw more inclusion and less racism in Alabama, as they were forced to learn to get along sooner than other, more segregated communities. I hope that we can all learn to get along soon.

C
Chamberlyn
2 years ago

Excusing, trivializing, and belittling the perpetuating racism and division in what is supposed to be an institution that radiates diversity and inclusion is sickening. Your comment has underscored the broader issue that is endemic on this campus and only demonstrates how much more work we have ahead of us. Not just to achieve some tangible form of equality, but to see to it that students such as yourself are capable of demonstrating an iota of insight and empathy. As a person of color, seeing that my potential leadership engaged in such a deplorable activity for the sake of “fun” without regard for the damage that they were causing serves as a reminder that racism IS systemic and it does not begin at the state level.
Your ignorance is palpable. You may not speak for us. You may not water this down to a “lapse of judgment” and a lack of perfection. You are part of the problem.
P.S. Research into voting laws and justice system sentencing in Alabama would serve you well.

T
Tom Levensailor
2 years ago

This is a tragic outcome of woke cancel culture run amok. Look at their founding principles and record of developing principled young men of character including, for instance, as the Director of Speechwriting for President Barack Obama, Significant Sig Cody Keenan, NORTHWESTERN 2002, helped craft Obama’s remarks for a variety of audiences from a Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech to State of the Union addresses, a sermon in Selma, Alabama to a variety of messages in packed arenas and stadiums. I admire Jordan for his honesty but hate to have this young man cancelled. https://sigmachi.org/

A
Anonymous
2 years ago

Shameful to see a candidate harassed like this. Now Vanderbilt has only one official ticket to vote on. Cancel culture at its finest.

Last edited 2 years ago by Anonymous
S
Steve
2 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I’m an alum and only know what I’ve just read. Based on that, I have two thoughts. First, the Sigma Chi concept of a North/South event does nothing to make America, not to mention the Vandy campus, more united. Their announcement of the event, while clever, made me feel like I was at Vandy back in 1968 when I matriculated. I had hoped Vandy was past that kind of regional sentiment, even if done in jest. Second, I would cut the candidate for office a bit of slack. Yes, I wish he would have not participated in the event, but I can see how otherwise smart people make some dumb mistakes as raw freshman. On the other hand, if he lied at some point about his participation, there are consequences.

A
A Vanderbilt Parent
2 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

What is actually shameful is the racist behavior and then the lying about it when given the opportunity to explain. This isn’t cancel culture. This is accountability. We cannot lump everything into cancel culture.

In no world is it okay to play a game about slavery. Vanderbilt students are educated enough to know what the Confederate flag and the “old South” connote.

A
Anonymous
2 years ago

I’m not sure what is racist about “North South Week.” If people are offended by the very premise of the “South,” I don’t think they should be coming to school here. It is shocking how incapable some students are at separating anything Southern from racism. To just boil the entire South down to a history of evil is ridiculous and dim-witted. The Confederate flag is a flag. It is shameful to see people hurt by words and symbols.

It’s always hilarious to watch people who have only vacationed in the South (and transplants) pretend to know what the South is. They pretend like they know the culture and history of this place better than the natives (white and black). The patronizing attitude is unreal.

Last edited 2 years ago by Anonymous
A
Anon
2 years ago

s

Last edited 2 years ago by Anon
A
Anon
2 years ago

s

Last edited 2 years ago by Anon
A
Anon
2 years ago

I’m curious about what you think cancel culture actually is. It seems SJWs have been spouting the same line about “accountability” after cancelling someone for years. This poor kid was cancelled, like it or not. Don’t try to put it into kinder terms. This was not the way we should have approached this problem. It would have been much better if we engaged in real truthful discussion about this problem, and then allowed students to vote on the matter, rather than harass and bully the candidate until submission. A one-platform ticket in any election does not solve the problem, it only encourages other people to believe they have been silenced (and, by extent, that conversation doesn’t work). We need to convince those we disagree with that there is room for real open discussion, without a threat to their jobs and futures.

Last edited 2 years ago by Anon