clemson undergraduate student senate

A screen capture of a live stream of Clemson University's Undergraduate Student Senate meeting on Monday, October 23, 2017. 

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson University's student senate has voted to impeach the student government's vice president, a black man who recently refused to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Student Senator Miller Hoffman introduced the resolution to impeach Jaren Stewart, citing a leaked document describing alleged misconduct. Hoffman denied that the motion was motivated by Stewart's pledge protest, or his race. Clemson, in South Carolina, says its student body is 83 percent white and 7 percent African-American.

The vote to impeach Stewart was 40-18. The vote was made by secret ballot during a meeting Monday while Stewart was out of town and couldn't speak on his behalf.

The vote sets up a closed-door impeachment trial to determine whether Stewart should be removed from office, during which he will be able to defend himself. However, any senator who reveals details of the proceedings also will face impeachment, according to the student newspaper, the Clemson Tiger.

Stewart and other students sat through the pledge at a student government meeting on Sept. 25, in solidarity with NFL players protesting police brutality and racial oppression.

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