PNW Pioneer

SGA president removed, replaced by former VP

Daquan Williams, junior communication major, sits in on his first SGA meeting as president.

Daquan Williams, junior communication major, sits in on his first SGA meeting as president.

photo: Alicia Osborn

photo: Alicia Osborn

Daquan Williams, junior communication major, sits in on his first SGA meeting as president.

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SGA president-elect De’Joie Simmons, MBA student, was removed from office due to a situation on May 13, involving alcohol in the dorms and the abuse of his powers as a senior resident assistant.

Daquan Williams, junior communication major and vice president elect, is now president while Anna Duley, senior nursing major, has been named vice president.

Simmons was announced SGA president at the Student Recognition Banquet on April 7. A late Cinco de Mayo celebration led to him losing his presidency and RA position.

The start of the event

The event began in Peregrine Hall Room 352, Simmons’ dorm room, but was later moved to room 300, a conference room. According to Simmons, he placed a request to host the event in a larger room with a clerk in Housing and Residential Education. Usually, a confirmation email would be sent out to confirm that the room could be reserved for the event. Simmons did not receive one and had asked the clerk about it, who told him to continue with his plans anyway.

Simmons said he did not realize at the time that the request not only had to be approved through housing but also through Student Life. Since Simmons never received the approval, it was against policy to host the event. The clerk declined to comment on the situation surrounding the request.

Alcohol at the on-campus event

At the time, Simmons was a senior RA and had the power to open a room if an event was scheduled. After 15-20 people arrived, Simmons said his dorm room became crowded so he used his key card to open Peregrine 300 and moved the event there.

However, Simmons said he did not know that attendees brought alcohol. Alcohol is forbidden on the campuses of PNW.

“Alcohol was not supposed to be at the event,” Simmons said.

During the event, Simmons said he was packing due to move-out week quickly approaching. He said he was not watching the event. He’d gone back to his dorm to clean up and pack. Simmons did, however, make a stop at the event and noticed that attendees were drinking alcohol. He did not stop the students from drinking. Simmons said he did not drink. “With this decision, I admit I was wrong. I should have told when I realized alcohol was there, but I don’t think I should lose my position,” Simmons said.

After Simmons left his room, he went to the front desk of Peregrine and assisted a fellow RA. The RA took a break and Simmons covered front desk duties.

“[The other RA] never came to the event. One of the people who brought alcohol in the dorms offered him some while he worked the front desk,” Simmons said. “He accepted the alcohol then later felt guilty and called my boss to tell about the alcohol.”

What happened after the event

The event ended when Simmons’ supervisor arrived. Simmons was in trouble for hosting the event, using his RA key card to open a room for an event that was not approved and allowing alcohol on a dry campus. Simmons lost his position as a senior RA and as SGA president.

“I have been here since 2014 and I have never been in trouble. A great portion of my life was spent on school work and multiple jobs, and [I worked] to improve student life,” Simmons said. “My problem with PNW is when you are doing good for PNW they like you, but the minute you make a mistake they over punish you for it.”

Carmen Panlilio, vice chancellor of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, said nothing can be said in an official capacity due to privacy and protection concerns. Scott Iverson, executive director of Housing
and Residential Education, said his staff will not speak to the media.

The Pioneer also contacted Housingand Residential Education as well as several members of Student Life, but the staff declined to comment.

Simmons submitted an appeal to the Dean of Students in an attempt to get his position back as SGA president. He had a hearing and was denied. He decided to leave PNW because of it.“I can no longer attend a school that has shown no loyalty to me and has clearly not appreciated me as a student or student leader,”Simmons said.

The future of SGA

Both Williams and Duley would like to move forward in SGA as president and vice president.

“[Simmons] was no longer eligible. He is still a good person, though,” Williams said. “I was given the option to become president and I would never turn my back on SGA.”

Williams still would like to install the 24-hour studying area for students, which is something Simmons talked about installing in May. Williams also wants to have flags from different countries displayed in a high traffic area of the university, such as SUL, so the international students can be reminded of their homes. Before the renovation, flags from different countries hung from the ceiling in the SUL, but they were removed. SGA is also creating a new part of SGA called the House of Representatives, where students can express their opinions even if they are not a senator.

“Any student can come in as a guest and make a statement to SGA,” Duley said.

SGA’s goals for this year

Duley is especially excited that Williams will be meetings and acting as the attending the Faculty Senate and acting as the voice for students. Duley and Williams are also hoping that student organizations will take advantage of the leadership funds available to them. The funds are mini  grants that will be reimbursed through the SGA budget.

“The coolest part of being part of a student organization is seeing other student organizations thrive,” Duley said.

Williams and Duley hope that what happened with Simmons can stay in the past as they prepare for this year.

“My goal is to make PNW a great place for students. I am here for them,” Williams said. “This year, we are looking forward to prosperity and longevity in setting the future for SGA.”


2 Responses to “SGA president removed, replaced by former VP”

  1. Gloria Jones on September 5th, 2017 7:25 pm

    I feel the University should have allowed Simmons a chance to redeem himself. He realized he made a big mistake. A probationary period and terms should have been given to him


    JD Reply:

    I feel the same way


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