Will student prez be ousted over this?

Oct 30th, 2009 | By | Category: Signs of the Times (click on article name)

1ST AMENDMENT UNDER FIRE

Will student prez be ousted over this?

Christian ignites campus firestorm on Constitution Day, faces wrath of school
Posted: October 29, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

SACRAMENTO – A California college student government president says he is feeling the wrath of peers and school administration and facing a recall election because he allowed a pro-life display on campus during the school’s Constitution Day.

Sacramento City College

Sacramento City College

Each year, the Sacramento City College Associated Student Government votes to invite outside groups and speakers to participate in a two-day event on campus in celebration of the Constitution and free speech. But ASG President Steve Macias, a 19-year-old Christian student, is now subject to a recall election because he allowed the Genocide Awareness Project, a group affiliated with the Sanctity of Human Life Network, to host a pro-life exhibit.

The student government unanimously voted to allow the Genocide Awareness Project to host a display on campus Sept. 16 and 17 as part of the Constitution Day event.

The display ignited debate after photographs of aborted unborn babies offended some students.

Macias told WND Sacramento City College Vice President of Student Affairs Michael Poindexter and ASG faculty adviser Lee Weathers-Miguel pulled him out of class and demanded that he tell the pro-life group to leave campus – even though the community college campus is open to the public.

“I was in class,” he said. “The administration tried to call my phone a million times. Eventually, I walked out of the classroom and picked up the phone. They said, ‘Where are you at?’ We need to talk to you now. I said, ‘I’m in class.’ They said, ‘Stay there. We’ll come and get you.'”

Macias said the vice president and faculty adviser told him to tell the pro-life group to leave immediately.

“I said, ‘I can’t tell them to leave. They have every right to be here.'”

He said the administrators responded, “Go out there and tell them to move their display somewhere off campus or turn their signs around. Tell them this isn’t OK.”

Macias responded, “I can’t tell them to do any of that. They have every right to be here, and it’s not my place to tell them what to do with their display.”

He said they also told him he should have invited a pro-abortion group to the event.

“After I refused to tell the group to take it down, they said, ‘We’re pi–sed off about this. This is unacceptable,'” Macias said. “They said if I had invited people from the other side, this would have been OK. If I would have included Planned Parenthood in this, then it would be perfectly fine. But because I hadn’t, they needed to go.”

Macias said Vice President Poindexter left, but the faculty adviser remained in the hallway with him.

“He said he was incredibly mad because I had ‘made him look like an a– in front of the administration,” Macias recalled. “He also said he wouldn’t forget this.”

Sacramento City College President Kathryn Jeffery’s office said she was not available for comment and referred WND to Vice President Poindexter’s office.

Poindexter disagreed with Macias’ representation, saying the school never demanded that the pro-life group leave campus.

ASG faculty adviser Lee Weathers-Miguel has not responded to a message left with his office.

Macias said on the second day of the two-day event, Planned Parenthood, the Queer-Straight Alliance club, the Sac City Freethinkers club and Sacramento City College Health Services set up their own booths across from the pro-life display and passed out pamphlets from Planned Parenthood.

“They set up tables across from their exhibit and harassed them the entire time they were there, throwing condoms at them, yelling at them, putting signs up and saying, ‘A woman’s choice is a woman’s choice,'” Macias said.

Poindexter said health center personnel were not present for the counter-demonstration.

Only one week after the event, Macias said, the school’s Queer-Straight Alliance circulated a petition to recall him. They collected the signatures and submitted them to the ASG adviser, he said.

“The adviser – the same guy who told me I made him look bad in front of the administration – went against the student constitution that said you have to submit these signatures to the student justice board and they have to validate them,” Macias said. “Then those people give it to another student board called student affairs, and those people set election rules for the board to vote on.”

But he said his faculty adviser bypassed the process.

“He averted all of that, validated it himself and chose the date for a recall on his own,” he said. “The date he chose was less than six days away. They gave us no information, no letters, phone calls or e-mails. I found out about it through the school newspaper.”

The school president suspended the election so it could be done correctly, but Macias said an emergency meeting was called – something he said is improper procedure when there is no emergency, according to California’s Ralph M. Brown Act. School officials claim proper procedure was followed.

The school held a recall election yesterday and today, and the results have not been released.

Macias said some students reported that election workers are campaigning against him at the voting booths.

“The staff at the election booths are saying are saying I broke rules and trying to crucify me at the election booth and campaigning against me,” he said. “It’s definitely not an unbiased election.”

Macias noted that the student government unanimously voted in support of allowing the pro-life display before the event.

“The way the voting works is you get a proposal to read it the week before and you have a week to read it over before you vote on it at the board meeting,” he said. “I guess some of them hadn’t read it over and voted on it without knowing what it was. I guess they probably saw Genocide Awareness Project and thought, ‘That sounds fine.’ They didn’t really do their research or ask any questions.”

He said the school administrators and students warmly welcomed free-speech displays – only until they realized the presentation was pro-life.

“They are now saying that they don’t support this group, so it shouldn’t be allowed on campus – which is wrong,” he said. “They obviously don’t have a firm grasp of what free speech is if they feel that way.”

Concerned individuals may e-mail Sacramento City College or call President Kathryn Jeffery’s office at (916) 558-2100, Vice President Michael Poindexter’s office at (916) 558-2142 or ASG faculty adviser Lee Weathers-Miguel’s office at (916) 558-2382.

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