Education Politics Editorial: Student Senate cannot continue with Southall By The New Political Posted on December 5, 2013 5 min read 0 0 625 His presidency has been marked by embarrassment and incompetence. His inability to lead has created a culture of political disillusionment on this campus. He has damaged the reputation of Student Senate and made a mockery of student government. After a semester’s worth of ineffectual governance from Ohio University’s Student Senate, it has become clear to The New Political that Senate cannot function for another semester under the leadership of its president, Nick Southall. Let us review the various times when our most prominent student leader has failed, and occasionally refused, to lead. When a freshman student died in his dorm room in the second week of the semester and administrators like Dr. Jenny-Hall Jones offered sympathy, and Southall was completely silent. When Southall posted the following tweet and then casually apologized, showing no understanding for the severity of his words until students showed up to a Senate meeting to demand an official apology. When Ohio University’s Board of Trustees voted in favor of unpopular raises for OU President Roderick McDavis twice this semester, the second time in a legally questionable fashion, and Southall was silent on both occasions. When Southall was submitted to a disciplinary review by his own vice president, Anna Morton, who said that Southall “hasn’t lived up to anything” and that he had failed to measure up to his role as Student Senate president. When Southall was asked to resign during a Student Speakout session, and calls for his resignation were repeated in letters to the editors of campus news outlets. He chose not to comment. When Ohio University’s Graduate Student Senate voted that it had “no confidence” in Southall’s ability to lead the undergraduate student body, and further added that not only do they have no confidence in his leadership, but that they “support all measures to remove him from office.” Most recently, when Ohio University’s Office of Legal Affairs revealed Student Senate’s status as a non-public body, Southall refused to join his graduate student counterpart in voting to have Senate conform to the expectations of a public body. In doing so, he has once again resigned the responsibilities of a public leader, and the time has come for him to resign the title of a public leader. It is highly unlikely that Student Senate will be able to shed its reputation as an ineffectual body if it does not first shed Nick Southall. We predict the ineptitude of this body will continue, along with the scandal and embarrassment, as long as Southall remains. The leadership ability of Morton is unclear for having been thus far untested, but we cannot imagine Senate as being any worse off with her ascension to the presidency. President Nick Southall has paralyzed Student Senate this semester. The only way for Senate to escape that paralysis next semester is to escape the leadership of Nick Southall.