By Cristofer Garcia
Resignation announcement of Former Deborah Stephen University President Jayre McClellan came to an abrupt end when the president attacked the student president from the Black Student Union on campus.
McClellan’s resignation comes after pressure from various students and student organizations including the college football team and the Black Student Union on campus, Concerned Student 1738.
“People were going on hunger strikes and tearing up cars… they didn’t like me, so peace out,” said McClellan before the physical altercation. “I wish I had never stepped foot on this campus.”
One of the main complaints raised by the Concerned Student organization was McClellan’s lack of response to a party organized by the Beta Gamma Alpha campus organization. The party, called the “Pimps and Hoes Party”, required McClellan’s approval. “How can you be so racially insensitive?” said Parker Westin, president of the Concerned Student group. Westin was one of the first and most outspoken students calling for McClellan’s resignation.
McClellan had stated that he didn’t anticipate the party to turn out like it did, “I believe in free speech, they said it was a fundraiser… I didn’t realize they’d take it that far.” He defended his position saying, “it’s just a party, it’s just a party.”
Jym Jahnson, football coach at the university, expressed his opinion on McClellan’s resignation. “My players were not going to play this weekend unless the president resigned and I support them 100 percent,” said Jahnson.
Cortez Jackson, an 18-year-old freshman and sociology major, pointed out more incidents that made him uncomfortable, “People touching my hair… for lack of a better word, feeling me up,” he said. “I felt so violated by the things that have been going on in this university.”
The resignation announcement ended violently after a couple of shoves by McClellan turned into a fight with Westin. “That’s assault,” said Westin after the first shove.
“I’ll show you assault,” said McClellan before they grappled and shoved each other before being separated by faculty.
Before the violent end, students and faculty expressed some optimism toward the future.
“Change has to start at the top,” said Jackson.
Westin and Coach Johnson agreed that this was one of the best days of their adult lives.
McClellan said it is too early to say what he would do now saying he plans to keep moving forward in education, “I don’t know what my future holds but I know this, I did… what I felt was the right thing at the time.”
As for the school, Communications Director, Booker T. Crenshaw, said the process for choosing the next president would be rigorous and students said the president would have to keep their door open.