On the morning of Monday, Nov. 21, members of the Marist College Student Government Association were notified that their organization has been suspended and placed “on an interim basis from participating in any and all college-sponsored events, meetings, processes or activities.”

Members reportedly were found to have participated in actions which directly violate Marist’s Code of Student Conduct and the College’s Student Government Association By-laws. SGA members are prohibited from meeting as a group off campus as well as contacting one another regarding the suspension until investigations are completed. All SGA-related emails and points of contact are to be redirected to the Office of Student Activities.

The initial notice of suspension was sent via email by Patricia Cordner, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, and noted that the SGA office located in the Murray Student Center will remain closed as of 8 p.m. Monday night, as is protocol of the interim period, and will not be reopened until investigations have been completed. The Circle contacted the Office of Student Affairs and has yet to receive a reply.

A dark windowed SGA Office at 6:30 p.m. Monday evening.

A dark windowed SGA Office at 6:30 p.m. Monday evening.

Before the office closed on Monday, The Circle spoke with some members busy cleaning out the space of personal items. These members refused to comment.

This interim suspension comes during a pivotal time in the semester, as club reallocations are underway for the Spring 2017 semester. SGA deals with all club finances and allocations. Cordner’s email details that all finances are frozen, indicating a setback that could prove a major difficulty in securing necessary club funding. Club leaders seeking conferences with the SGA financial board are now unable to meet. Marist’s Office of Student Activities has been contacted for additional information, but the office was unable to comment.

According to the College’s Student Handbook and Code of Student Conduct, during an interim suspension “students may be denied access to the residence facilities and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all other College activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs or designee may determine to be appropriate.”

Screenshot of SGA's by-laws

Screenshot of SGA’s by-laws

Such actions may be taken “when a student represents a threat of serious harm to self or others, is facing allegations of serious criminal activity, to preserve the integrity of an investigation, to preserve College property and/or to prevent disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the College.” These suspensions are upheld until a conference or hearing takes place under the jurisdiction of the Office of Student Conduct.

Under the Handbook’s Section 4: Core Values and Behavioral Expectations, such rules apply to “all students/recognized student organizations, whether undergraduate, graduate, adult, abroad or professional.” Section 5: The Office of Student Conduct, provides under “Group Violations” that “a student group or organization and its officers and membership may be held collectively and individually responsible when violations of this code by the organization or its member(s).”

The Circle will be following the investigation as more information is released.

More information may be found in the online handbook: http://www.marist.edu/studentlife/studentconduct/handbook/2016-17%20handbookandcodeofconduct-Updated%20for%20web.pdf.

*Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Due to unprecedented reactions by the student body and administration, the editorial team deemed a temporary take-down request to be in the best in interest of The Circle. This decision has come about due to user comments underneath the original article, comments that The Circle takes no ownership of and does not support. For questions or inquiries contact writethecircle@gmail.com.

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