Cornell Student Gov’t Leaders Harassed After Vetoing Police Disarmament

Protesters rally Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in Phoenix, demanding that the Phoenix City Council defund the Phoenix Police Department. The protest is a result of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Matt York) defund the …
AP Photo/Matt York

Cornell University student government leaders were harassed by their peers after vetoing a resolution that would have effectively disarmed campus police officers. One student representative was even pressured to change his vote by peers that shamed him for voting to keep campus polices officers armed.

According to a report by the Cornell Daily Sun, student government leaders at Cornell University that voted against a resolution to disarm campus police were harassed and threatened by their peers.

“I will beat your ass,” one student in favor of disarmament said at the end of the Zoom call. A video of the exchange was shared and posted to Twitter.

Freshman representative Kayla Butler said that she received threatening phone calls and messages after she voted against the resolution.

“My body hurts over the amount of stress, fear, emotional labor and physical labor I’ve put into this situation,” Butler said. “My heart still beats faster opening my campaign account, I still get tense receiving an unknown call.”

Butler blamed the behavior of her peers on the digital setting for the meeting. “In person, you look someone in the eye when you address them. In-person, you have to sit next to them, talk to them, work with them, face your words and your actions,” Butler added. “Being over Zoom has almost permitted a certain impersonality.”

After student representative Carols Castillo voted against the resolution, he was pressured by his peers into switching his vote. Although Castillo changed his vote to better represent the wishes of his peers, he blamed “cancel culture” for the treatment he received.

“Although I had different views than the majority of CALS, I was elected to represent the college’s wishes, and I am aware by voting no, I have not,” Castillo said. “Cancel culture is so quick to make assumptions about someone based on their vote. I hope the students of CALS and Cornell see I am open for civil discourse that can change my opinion.”

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