Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

SGA to hold vote of no confidence and call for President Jay Bernhardt to resign

Members of Emerson’s Student Government Association (SGA) will hold a vote of no confidence and call for President Jay Bernhardt’s resignation at their meeting on Friday, April 26 at 1 p.m. in the Bright Family Screening Room at the Paramount Center.
SGA+to+hold+vote+of+no+confidence+and+call+for+President+Jay+Bernhardt+to+resign
Mariyam Quaisar
SGA Executive President Charlize Silvestrino, left, and Executive President-elect Nandan Nair, right, speak at a press conference outside the 2 Boylston Place alley ahead of a vote of no confidence tomorrow. (Mariyam Quaisar/Beacon Staff)

At about 3:45 p.m. today, media outlets and students gathered outside 2 Boylston Place Alley awaiting a press conference hosted by Emerson College’s undergraduate Student Government Association (SGA). The press conference was convened in response to the arrests of over 100 protesters at Emerson’s “Popular University Encampment.”

Charlize Silvestrino, the current executive president of SGA, opened the press conference by asserting that the protesters are “our classmates and our friends,” before condemning “President Bernhardt’s inefficiency and unwillingness to collaborate and communicate with protesters.”

She then passed a notebook containing the official statement to incoming SGA Executive President Nandan Nair.

“As the incoming and outgoing president of SGA, we feel there is only one course of action,” Nair began. “Tomorrow, our elected student leaders will vote on a resolution of no confidence in President Jay Bernhardt and call on him to resign.”

“We encourage all members of the community to attend the SGA meeting at 1 p.m. or follow us on social media @emersonsga for more information,” Nair concluded.

It was later confirmed that the meeting will be held on Friday, April 26 at 1 p.m. in the Bright Family Screening Room in the Paramount Center located at 500 Washington Street.

Silvestrino and Nair, accompanied by Angus Ambercrombie, a member of SGA’s Student Experience Senate, invited student journalists to ask questions related to SGA’s response to the arrests.

A reporter from the Beacon asked SGA members if the Emerson student body could expect transparency from SGA in their future conversations with the Emerson administration.

“Absolutely, yes,” replied Silvestrino. “Obviously we can’t speak to everyone’s experience, but our job is to be a mouthpiece to the admin.”

Another reporter from the Beacon asked how students should handle campus life, specifically finals, amid the turbulent climate.

“Admin are in contact with faculty at the moment to ask for leniency,” Silvestrino responded.

“I don’t think any of us can be expected to be operating at 100% for the rest of this academic year, especially given that we only have a week left,” she continued.

The same reporter then asked about the implications for students whose court dates will extend beyond the move-out deadline of May 3.

Nair responded, acknowledging, “I do know lawyers have been in contact, and they are working with the students to figure out when they’re moving out.”

A student reporter then asked how students should support each other on campus.

“Just stay talking to each other,” Silvestrino replied. “I think we’re a really strong community as it is.”

“We all are as strong as ourselves, and so we encourage everyone to check on each other,” Nair added.

Another student reporter asked how the SGA members felt considering they had issued an official statement before the college.

“Terrible, it doesn’t feel good,” Silvestrino said. “But at the end of the day, someone’s got to say it, and if it has to be us first, let it be us first.”

Silvestrino, Nair, and Abercrombie thanked the reporters who were at the scene before concluding the press conference. They continued to encourage Emerson students to attend tomorrow’s SGA meeting, citing the importance of supporting the vote of no confidence and the call for resignation.

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About the Contributor
Katherine Cressman
Katherine Cressman, News Co-Editor
Katherine is a freshman journalism major from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. When she is not writing you can find her singing in Achoired Taste, playing tennis, or watching cat videos on TikTok.

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