Call to Hold Current VSG Administration Accountable for their Abuse of Power

Call to Hold Current VSG Administration Accountable for their Abuse of Power

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!
Gabriela Parsons started this petition to Vanderbilt Community

The purpose of Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG) is to speak for the students and to communicate our concerns to administration. It is an apolitical, unbiased organization here to serve the needs of its students. The statement by Vanderbilt Student Government on May 22nd failed to do so. It was a feeble attempt to support the student body at large, but is malicious in its exclusion of Jewish students. The statement attempts to address the complex history of the Israel-Palestine conflict, but neither of the two large Jewish student organizations were a part of the ongoing conversation. Over 15% of students are not represented by VSG’s message. 

When the President of Vanderbilt Hillel was initially approached by VSG, she voiced her discomfort with the statement. “I was very clear in communicating that much of the Jewish community would see this as antisemitic and problematic,” she stated, and clarified that she was not asked for feedback, nor was she kept in the loop about further edits. 

At its core, the statement was antisemitic. Aside from a single sentence stating that VSG does not condone any discrimination, there was no additional mention of Israeli suffering, the hate crimes against Jews around the world, and the sheer terror that Jewish people globally are experiencing. 

Although the capabilities of Hannah Bruns and Kayla Prowell, as well as all of the co-signers of the statement, are not in question, the legitimacy of the VSG administration is. It is important to note that VSG is in no position to “represent” the entirety of the Vanderbilt student body. Jewish students raised concerns about public shows of antisemitism throughout the election, and were called racist, sexist, misogynistic, anti-Black, homophobic, colonizers, bigots, and more. The voices of the Jewish community were silenced then, just as they are now. 

That being said, no student government organization should have the authority to make a statement on a topic of such complexity on behalf of such a large group of people without the consent of a faculty or administrative advisor. It is extremely unfortunate that due to the entitlement exemplified by the co-signers of this statement, the antisemitic sentiment depicted in the statement will certainly hinder prospective Jewish students from viewing Vanderbilt as a safe space to express their identities. 

Hannah and Kayla, along with the rest of VSG who co-signed this statement, have proven to be wholly incompetent in their roles. They are unable to represent the student population in a fashion that is respectful and inclusive. They have abused their authority. They have not stepped up to the responsibilities of their positions. 

We call for the immediate removal of the post, a public apology to the Vanderbilt students, and the following actions: a conversation with Jewish student leaders, engagement with the Jewish community through Jewish cultural and religious events, and continuous education on Jewish persecution, trauma, history, current issues, and cultural values. Further, we call for the immediate admission of abuse of power to ensure that the administration is held accountable for violating their authority. 

If VSG does not take this under advisement, become an ally to the Jewish community, and respect the voices of all Vanderbilt students, we call for the removal of Hannah Bruns, Kayla Prowell, Rohit Kataria, Virali Patel, Layla Ahmed, Tariq Bolden, and Tyger Quarles from office. This impeachment is on the basis of VSG leaders 1) abusing their power, 2) releasing a statement not representative of the student body, 3) suppressing the speech of members of the student body, and 4) perpetuating a division of students within the Vanderbilt community.

 

 

 

 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!