SGA president and president-elect call for resignation of President Jay Bernhardt

Student Government officials speak in front of the Boylston Place Alley. Photo by Emma Siebold.
Student Government officials speak in front of the Boylston Place Alley. Photo by Emma Siebold.

By Emma Siebold 

Student Government Association outgoing president Charlize Silvestrino and president-elect Nandan Nair called for the resignation of President Jay Bernhardt in a press conference in front of the Boylston Place alley. 

“We feel there is only one appropriate course of action,” Nair said in his statement. “Tomorrow our elected student leaders will vote on a resolution of no confidence in Emerson president Jay Bernhardt and call on him to resign.”

SGA has not received communications from Bernhardt aside from the president’s emails to the Emerson Community. Nair said they were in contact with other members of administration.

“These are our classmates and our friends, and President Bernhardt’s inefficiency and unwillingness to collaborate and communicate with protestors played a huge role in last night’s tragedy,” Silvestrino said in her statement. 

SGA invited Emerson community members to their meeting at 1 p.m. tomorrow to witness the vote. The location of the meeting is currently undecided, but Nair said they will update their Instagram page once it is finalized. 

“At the end of the day, the student government is here to represent the entirety of the undergraduate student population,” Silvestrino said. “Obviously, we can’t speak to everyone’s experiences, but our job is to be the mouthpiece to the admin, and we know what students are saying.”

Nair said SGA condemns the use of force on students during last night’s protest. 

“We believe it was intense brutalization that was absolutely unnecessary. It does not reflect at all on SGA. We are very saddened to see what happened.”

Nair said he has been in contact with administration and plans on having biweekly meetings over the summer to decide on an approach for next year. He also said SGA asked faculty and staff to be lenient to students during the final days of classes, saying students should not be expected to operate at 100 percent after last night’s events. 

“There is no normalcy after this,” Nair said. “It is going to take a long time to heal from this. I don’t think our community will be the same.”