SBCC student government halted during Title IX investigation


Michael Juliano, Staff Writer

All official Associated Student Government board activities have been suspended due to a pending investigation for a Title IX gender discrimination complaint.

Christopher Johnson, the group’s advisor, reported to the student officers via email that the complaint contained an accusation of a lack of access to certain student government positions based on gender under Title IX.

“The district has received a complaint regarding the election process for ASG President in the spring semester of 2017 and subsequent ASG Board activities from July 1, 2017 to the present,” Johnson wrote in his email.

Charlotte Donnay Rochard was elected Associated Student Government president last May. Her presidency was taken away after Julia Pizza and Stuart Brown submitted video testimonies as evidence that she had been campaigning in the Computer Science Lab and behind Chromebooks in the library. Campaigning behind computer screens on campus was against election rules. Note that Christopher Lee, former student advocate-elect and male, had his position revoked for the same rule violation in the same election.

To address the recent Title IX complaints, Johnson wrote: “We will be seeking to conduct an independent investigation into the election process, and referring the Title IX complaint to our Title IX Officer.”

As the advisor, Johnson directed the student government to suspend all formal board activities, effective immediately. The suspension should remain in effect until further notice, pending the outcomes of the investigations. However, Johnson directed individual board members to continue functioning in their elected roles, and directed student representation on campus committees to also continue as current practice.

The Channels reached out to Johnson for further comment but he declined on grounds that the investigation is still pending. Rochard also declined to comment.

Sept. 29, 2017, Clarification:

A previous version of this article stated that there were multiple formal complaints filed against Charolette’s campaigning. The article has been updated to more accurately describe Pizza and Brown’s video submissions.