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.

VSG passes vote of no-confidence against Economic Inclusivity Chair and former presidential candidate Jordan Gould

With over 300 Vanderbilt students in attendance, the March 30 VSG Senate meeting sets a new record for student body attendance, per Speaker Kate Petosa.
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Emery Little
Kirkland Hall during the fall. Photo taken on Oct. 12, 2020. (Hustler Multimedia/Emery Little)

By means of a secret ballot on March 30, the Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG) Senate passed a vote of no-confidence for Economic Inclusivity Chair and former presidential candidate Jordan Gould during their bi-weekly meeting. The current session of VSG, and the terms of all appointed and elected VSG members, finishes on April 14. 

The senate meeting, which lasted for approximately 3.5 hours, hit the 300-person limit on Zoom and was then live streamed on a public Discord server for students who were unable to join the Zoom meeting.

The meeting began with an open forum discussion where Vanderbilt students could raise concerns or comment on issues that they would like addressed by the student government. According to the VSG constitution, the open forum discussion is a common practice for senate assemblies. During the open forum, 28 Vanderbilt students, including Senator Olivia Sinrich, spoke to their peers about Gould’s potential removal, per the senate meeting minutes. Sinrich did not respond to request for comment.

The second part of the meeting saw the confirmation of Bryce Collings as Speaker of the Senate and Sophia Clark as Chief of Staff for the 2021-22 school year. 

The resolution to invoke a vote of no-confidence was presented by Deputy Speaker of the Senate Syed Rahman. The deputy speaker alleged that Gould had not upheld the responsibilities of the office of committee chair. 

“Mr. Gould was provided with a notification of this vote of no confidence, and I provided him with a Zoom link. He has not responded,” Rahman said. 

Gould did not attend the Senate meeting or respond to The Hustler’s request for comment. 

Per Speaker of the Senate Kate Petosa, the passage of the vote of no confidence triggers a judicial court investigation, which provides a report to the senate for voting. 

“Seeing as Senators are the group who requested the investigation, the Court thinks that it’s reasonable to ask the Senators to provide the factual evidence to be considered in the report,” an April 1 message shared with VSG senators from Chief Justice Daniel Baisier reads. 

VSG has set a deadline for senators to submit evidence against Gould by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 4. Per Basier’s message, Gould will have the chance to respond to evidence and allegations by 12:00 p.m. April 9. Basier said he expects the final report to be completed more than 48 hours before the April 14 senate session, and will be posted on Anchorlink.

“We’re just going to collect facts. Since ‘no confidence’ is vague and ultimately a judgement call for the Senate, we’ll just gather facts and evidence to help them decide whether they have ‘no confidence’ in Jordan,” Basier said in a message to The Hustler. “But we will express no opinion on whether he has ‘lost Senators’ confidence’ because, ultimately, what does that really mean? We certainly can’t say for certain.”

The VSG vote of no confidence was held one day after the March 30 publication of Gould’s Medium article titled “When the Social Justice Mob Came for Me.” Gould’s piece discussed the treatment he received from other students throughout the course of the election. Gould dropped out of the VSG presidential race after releasing a video admitting to being present at a North/South week hosted by Sigma Chi.

The article prompted reactions from students on social media and a subsequent response piece from senior Ember Tharpe.

Incoming VSG President Hannah Bruns spoke during the senate meeting. Bruns thanked her campaign for their continued support and promised significant change within student government during her term next year. 

“We will not tolerate discrimination of any form. Whether that be institutional, systemic or on an individual level,” Bruns said. 

Vice President-elect Kayla Prowell told the Senate that she and Bruns are eager to serve every single student on campus. Prowell encouraged fellow senators to uplift and empower the student body and be aware of harmful election rhetoric. 

“I am unbelievably proud of everybody who came out tonight, who had the courage and bravery to speak up,” Prowell said. “This is about setting precedent.”

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About the Contributors
Zoe Abel, Opinion Editor
Zoe Abel (‘24) is from Washington, D.C., and is a student in the College of Arts and Science. She is majoring in medicine, health and society and child development with minors in biology and French on the pre-med track. In her free time, Zoe loves distance running, good music, coffee and telling terrible dad jokes. She is also an avid Oxford comma advocate. You can reach her at [email protected].  
Emery Little, Former Social Media Director
Emery Little (‘22) is from Birmingham, AL. She majored in communication of science and technology and Spanish. In her free time, she loves to design graphics, follow tech news and run her photography business. She can be reached at [email protected].
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Comments (7)

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].
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F
3 years ago

thank you for sharing this article post.

W
Winston Smith
3 years ago

What has happened to Vanderbilt? This is not even the same university it was a couple of years ago. I remember when Vandy boasted it had the nation’s happiest students. Now it is filled with radical activists dead set on destroying anyone who makes a mistake or does not agree with them. This is a bad look for Vanderbilt. Where does the administration stand on this issue? Is this the image they want to project? If so, I am not impressed.

N
Not Amused
3 years ago

I am a prospective parent and really am shocked, yet not shocked, on just how far a “woke” mob will go. Vanderbilt is doing a huge disservice to alumni, current and future students by allowing the reputation of the school to be marred with the reactionary and chaotic opinions of a few. We will take our search elsewhere, thank you.

A
AlsoNotAmused
3 years ago
Reply to  Not Amused

I am a current parent and am equally as shocked!!!

I have read the one sided social media posts detailing VSG opposing candidates’ viewpoints qualifying Jordan Gould’s attendance to a frat party his Freshman year as a “racist action”. In my opinion such a vitriolic diatribe stands as the poster child of social media bullying in its purest form!!!

Quite candidly, I am shocked that the University has not yet intervened on this student’s behalf. While Jordan was provided a platform to respond (which he did), only to become the subject of a 300 person Zoom call to further denounce his actions as a racist and promptly and unilaterally award him a vote of “no confidence” to be immediately published in a University affiliated publication. All of this public shaming issued in the SOLE DETERMINATION of a specific group who apparently have decided themselves to be the “judge, jury and executioner” of societally acceptable student behavior.

I will be shocked if the University does not intervene in this matter. The behavior of these students is appalling. If a “woke” culture is equivalent to reverse discrimination and condoning intolerance to self-perceived inequities, then I will opt to stay “asleep”!!!

I suppose now the tenets of “wokism” have been expanded to include not only race, gender, sexual preference, and nationality but now cries of economic inequity are also being levelled alongside “white privilege”, both of which are apparently epitomized in the Greek frats and sororities currently being targeted.

Enough is enough!! If these students do not embrace the so called trappings of Greek life, then simply opt not to join a fraternity or sorority. As to the social media poster advocating for the abolishment of all Greek life at VU because he/she felt excluded; then I would suggest he/she quit attending Greek functions and seek like-minded fellowship elsewhere. Economic inequity aside, no student or collection of students should be given the right to publicly shame another student for his choices. It just so happens that some students do enjoy the camaraderie and community services these organizations offer. It is not up to the ideas and values of a select few to decide options for the majority. After all we live in a Democratic and Capitalistic nation, where freedom of speech and freedom of choice (within the constraints of the Common Law) are valued and embraced by most and in my opinion should be reflected accordingly in our institutions of higher learning.

I suppose the takeaway in this instance is the blatant hypocrisy of justified “bullying” (based on the perceived inequities of a few) and the University’s condonement of such to date. Of course, like the prospective parent noted herein, many more families of prospective students can also exercise that same freedom and opt out of an application to VU. Dare I say, if many more prospective parents see these articles, I think they might react exactly the same. I honestly cannot blame this parent for advocating against their child’s consideration to attend VU. Who wants to pay a lofty tuition to have their child publicly bullied for attending a frat party? The article touting Vandy’s acceptance rate being lower than ever is eerily timed; because if the university allows this incident to go unchecked, I do believe future year’s articles will be lamenting a reverse in this trend.

Finally, as a Vandy parent, I am saddened that the lack of timely oversight by the administration of VU, like that of so many other schools opting to follow the current media fueled frenzy of political “wokeness”, has chosen to allow the renegade actions of a few to negatively affect the University as a whole – alumni, current students and prospective students alike!!!

If ever there was a time to “anchor down” against the dictatorial mandates implemented by means of public defamation and attempted character assault by a select few students targeting large specific groups and advocating that the University simply erase its history by renaming certain buildings (to be chosen in the sole opinion of that same select few) now is the time!!! Perhaps it is time that VU administration enact its own form of “woke” culture- one in which the tail is NOT wagging the dog!!

Lest you forget that the donors funding VU’s collective generosity, and the diversity that inevitably follows as a result, are under no obligation to continue to do so. Should the court of public opinion be swayed, which inevitably it will be – given its fickle nature which just so happens to be currently fueled by a reverence for social acceptance and adherence to social media, so too could the current public perceptions and popularity of Vanderbilt University go. There is a reason VU has risen in national rankings to become one of the most desired institutions of higher learning. Perhaps it is time to take a step back and reconsider what precisely brought us to this point? Suffice it to say, the University’s failure to intervene on matters of public shaming under the guise of political correctness is most likely NOT the answer!!!

P
Prospective Parent
3 years ago
Reply to  Not Amused

I’m also a prospective parent, and, while my politics are in the middle, I think it is good to see young people taking a stand and from what I understand from other articles, Gould admitted to being a liar. That students make a stand makes Vanderbilt all the more appealing. Well done students!

D
Dan
3 years ago

So let me get this straight…The vote of no confidence was pushed forward ONE DAY after Gould spoke out and was supported by the incoming President. A vote of no confidence for a position that by all accounts he has done exceptionally well in? Is this not an abuse of political power to punish someone for speaking out about their lived personal experience?
Prowell said. “This is about setting precedent.”
Yes a precedent has been set alright. A precedent that if you’re white and in a fraternity, there is no place for you in the leadership of the Vanderbilt student body. A precedent that if you speak out, your peers will seek retribution with no consequences set forth by the University.

Shame on Vanderbilt and all the students who support this.

T
Terry
3 years ago

Vanderbilt’s clearly become a viper pit of radical activists. While parroting the same refrain of “diversity and inclusion” over and over like a mental patient, they work to character assassinate anyone that is a millimeter out of step with the latest marching orders. That the school allows this type of bullying to permeate the student body is so much more dangerous than any supposedly harmful conduct present at fraternity parties. One of the targets of these public dragging campaigns will (unfortunately) not be able to handle the stress and only then will the campus be forced to reckon with what it has become: a place where bullying and mob justice is celebrated and encouraged.
Shame on Vanderbilt, shame on the Vanderbilt Student Government, and shame on the students that are attacking Jordan Gould. Take a long look at yourselves in the mirror, you are horrible people. You make this school a worse place.