Despite growing concern from students at Bucknell, members of the college’s Student Government Executive Committee have voted to uphold the suspension of part-time Breitbart Tech writer Tom Ciccotta as junior class president.
As we reported on the weekend, Ciccotta was removed as junior president after missing a total of four student government meetings out of at least seventy-five over the course of the semester. All of these meetings were missed due to work or student leadership commitments — arguably bringing them under the Bucknell student government’s “special circumstances” policy, which allows for meetings to be missed if there is a legitimate reason.
Other students had missed meetings due to oversleeping and were not removed.
In removing Ciccotta just ten days before his term ended, Bucknell’s student government, headed by President Mark Merino, now faces accusations of at least two violations of Bucknell’s constitutional policies. Firstly, by removing Ciccotta so close to the end of term, Merino may have failed to give him an adequate amount of time to appeal the decision. Even if Ciccotta were reinstated on appeal, he would barely have any time left as President.
Furthermore, Ciccotta says he was initially informed that there was no way to reverse Merino’s initial decision. In other words, the appeal process was, initially, allegedly concealed from him.
Ciccotta states that Merino acknowledged in a private conversation that the timing of his suspension was a violation of constitutional policy and, as a result, agreed to temporarily reinstate him on a probationary basis on Saturday night before the agreement was nixed by an administrator. Since then, Ciccotta has since been permanently removed again — after an appeal to Bucknell’s Student Government Executive Committee.
Speaking to Breitbart Tech, Ciccotta stated that he is focused on the larger issue of ideological diversity at the school. “This isn’t about me being a victim,” he said. “There are legitimate questions that Bucknell has to answer about political diversity and political bias — this is a faculty and administration that infamously turned their backs to Ben Carson when he gave the commencement address here in 2010, which was before he was a nationally recognizable figure.”
“When progressive students demand more gender neutral bathrooms, the administration listens and responds. When I wish to address that only six percent of Bucknell faculty are registered Republicans, I get ignored. There is no channel in the administration for that concern to be addressed. If the University is going to demand a quarter-million dollars in tuition fees from its students, then these issues need to be addressed. These are concerns that inhibit the University from performing its necessary function of turning students into critical thinkers.”
Ciccotta appeared on the SiriusXM program Breitbart News Sunday to discuss the incident with host Alex Marlow and co-host Milo Yiannopoulos. Ciccotta said, “They removed me with ten days remaining in the term. In the meeting I asked if there was anything I could do to reverse it … What I realized after I looked through the student government constitution… They actually committed a serious violation. My contention is that the decision to remove me this point in the semester was a significant violation, because even if I was to successfully appeal, I’d barely have a chance to return to the position. The semester’s over.”
Marlow and Yiannopoulos agreed that the most likely explanation for Ciccotta’s removal was his conservative organizing on campus.
“I think the facts speak for themselves” said Yiannopoulos. “The guy takes a job at Breitbart, and what is it, three weeks later he gets removed as class president, on some — he can’t say this — but it sounds like spurious grounds?”
Yiannopoulos concluded by singling out Bucknell. “Of all the colleges I’ve done so far, Bucknell put Tom through hell to get [my] event on. For [the administrator] to complain about him criticizing the intellectual diversity of the faculty and the administration and what they did to him to try to get this event… Well, he’s right on both counts!”
You can listen to Ciccotta’s full interview on Breitbart News Sunday below.
To end on a happy note, it seems that the Susquehanna Valley Conservatives agree with Marlow and Yiannopoulos on Bucknell’s decision. In response, they are planning to honor Ciccotta at their next meeting, on May 9th.