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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Report: removal unfair

The Memorial Student Center (MSC) Council?s process of removing President Josh Rowan was flawed and unfair, invalidating the council?s decision, University administrators concluded last week.
In a report detailing the verdict of Rowan?s appeal of the council?s Sept. 3 vote, Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. J. Malon Southerland requested the council correct certain procedures before trying to remove Rowan again.
?In spite of the good faith efforts of the students and advisors, some of the basic protections of fundamental fairness were not afforded to Mr. Rowan as the students and advisors struggled to create a process where none existed,? the report stated. ?As the original process was crafted and as it evolved, perceived time constraints, protection of the organization and perceived concerns about press leaks were the driving force behind some of the decisions that lead to deficiencies in the process.?
Rowan, a senior agricultural development major, resigned Sept. 21 rather than contest the council?s decision. His removal was sparked by allegations of misconduct while on a University-sponsored trip to Italy during the summer. Rowan acknowledged drinking too much on two occasions, but denied that he made unwanted sexual advances to a freshman woman on the trip or that he used illegal drugs.
Rowan said he resigned because it was unlikely the council would reverse its decision.
?Part of me wanted to keep fighting, but this ordeal has really taken a toll on me and the people I care about,? Rowan said.
The report, drafted by Dean of Student Life Dr. Dave Parrott and approved by Southerland, cited three central problems with the MSC?s actions:
? Although Rowan was given verbal notice of how the process would proceed, the MSC Council?s actions deviated significantly from that process.
? The matter was reviewed by two MSC committees before it went to the council, and at every stage of the process Rowan was not properly informed of the outcome. For example, Rowan was told of the MSC Executive Council?s recommendation only 30 minutes before the full Council convened to consider the matter.
? Rowan was denied an opportunity to speak before the MSC Council, whose members determined Rowan?s fate.
Ben Moffitt, MSC executive vice president for marketing and a junior political science major, said the MSC Council will review Southerland?s recommendations to correct personnel procedures.
?We believe we followed the processes outlined in the MSC constitution and bylaws,? Moffitt said. ?We?re not perfect, and we?ll take Southerland?s report into consideration.?
Rowan has accused Moffit and Barry Hammond, MSC executive vice president for development and a junior finance major, of orchestrating his removal. Both were participants in the trip to Italy and sat on the council that voted for his removal. Hammond and Moffit said Monday night that they do not plan to apply for the presidency vacancy.
On Friday, Rowan?s last day as MSC president, the telephone answering message in his MSC office began, ?Howdy, you?ve reached Barry Hammond for student body president campaign headquarters.?
Rowan denies leaving the message.
?I just packed all my things Thursday night and left,? Rowan said. ?I?ve closed that chapter in my life and the last thing I want is for this to drag out any further.?
An open application process for selecting a new MSC president will begin, Moffitt said, and Jennifer Brashares, MSC executive vice president for programs and a senior sociology major, will assume the duties of MSC president until a permanent replacement is chosen.
Rowan said that despite his shortened tenure, he is proud of his accomplishments as MSC president, such as encouraging more ethnic diversity among MSC committees and improving relations between the MSC and other student organizations.
?In any leadership role, the ultimate goal is to impact people, and I think I succeeded,? Rowan said.

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