In just over 30 minutes, the makeup of the Associated Students of Lane Community College Student Government was drastically altered.
ASLCC Student Government Vice President Dan Good announced his sudden resignation in the midst of a brief-but-tumultuous Senate meeting on Oct. 25, which also saw a new senator sworn in and another – first-time senator Diego Wilson – narrowly avoiding impeachment proceedings.
According to official statements by President Keely Blyleven and Vice President Good, Wilson was accused by several students of a variety of offenses throughout his term as Senator, including “sexual discrimination, emotional and verbal abuse, misogyny and ableism.” Blyleven and Good both argued that Wilson’s offenses are discriminatory to students at LCC and violate ASLCC Constitution and bylaws, and therefore are grounds for impeachment.
“The attitudes that Senator Wilson espouses are deplorable, unacceptable, oppressive, and downright wrong,” Good said in his statement. “We stand together to fight these inequities and injustices within all realms of this institution… as sworn advocates for the student body, we must fight these ideals within the students as well.”
Blyleven and Good declined to name any of the students who had made accusations against Wilson, nor did they provide any details regarding the nature of the offenses.
Wilson has categorically denied all accusations against him, but declined to speak on-record about the details of the allegations or his attempted impeachment.
The mood throughout Senate meeting was uncharacteristically contentious. Blyleven repeatedly warned Wilson not to interrupt her during her statements. Even the routine approval of the meeting’s agenda saw Good and Wilson sniping at each other over minor revisions and adjustments. After Good read his statement outlining the accusations against Wilson and encouraging the Senators to vote in favor of impeachment, Wilson called Good’s tone “unnecessarily aggressive toward [him].”
“That’s why it’s called a personal statement,” Good responded. “It’s coming from the heart.”
Wilson continually defended himself during his own statement, calling the allegations against him “hurtful” and appeared to accuse Good and Blyleven of colluding to remove him from the Senate. After Good’s resignation, Wilson expressed hope that the issue had been resolved.
“It’s been a rough night for everyone,” Wilson said after the meeting. “But I believe in the process, and that process worked tonight.”
The only thing that seemed to unite the student representatives was their shared admiration of Hannah Lyon, who was unanimously ratified as the seventh student Senator – and crucial tiebreaker – moments before the articles of impeachment were introduced.
While other members of the Senate called for further investigation regarding the allegations against Wilson during their own prepared statements – and thus were in favor of beginning the impeachment process – the proceedings were ultimately short-lived. Wilson introduced a motion to postpone discussion on impeachment “indefinitely,” which passed with a tie-breaking vote from Lyon.
It was after that motion was passed that Good announced his resignation, gathered his belongings and dramatically left the boardroom, leaving the gathered senators, staffers and students stunned. Blyleven held her head in her hands behind a podium. Senators Caleb Peterson and Adam Atman shot wide-eyed looks at one another; President Pro Tempore Nick Keough stared at the floor.
“What do we do now?” a voice asked from the gallery, before Lyon grabbed the wooden gavel and brought the meeting to a close after just 34 minutes.
Good’s sudden resignation was the culmination of weeks of growing tension between the Vice President and the first-time senator, according to several people familiar with the two students.
“It wasn’t a Senate meeting, it was a football game,” Atman said after the Senate adjourned. “There were factions involved. This wasn’t going to be a discussion.”
Ken Dinet, who serves on the Council of Clubs at LCC, defended Wilson in a gallery statement before official debate on impeachment began, calling the last-minute addition of impeachment proceedings “unprecedented.”
“It’s not about impeachment,” Dinet said. “He just doesn’t like him.”
Dinet claims that Good was actively trying to remove Wilson from the Senate due to unknown personal disputes, and became increasingly erratic in recent weeks. Dinet provided emails he sent to Dean of Student Success Lida Herberger and Director of Student Standards Carl Yeh – dated between Oct. 4 and Oct. 17 – in which he claimed he witnessed the now-former VP exit a student government meeting and say “I’m going to knock that [expletive] out.”
In the email, dated Oct. 12, Dinet says he wasn’t sure who Good was referring to. After the Oct. 25 Senate meeting, Dinet now believes that Good was speaking about Wilson.
“My concern is that he may act on threats if he has impaired judgement,” Dinet said. “I felt compelled to say something just in case something was to happen.”
Neither Herberger nor Yeh could be reached for comment before deadline.
In an interview, Good did not deny Dinet’s account, but attributed it to a lapse in self-control and explained that he had just left another contentious meeting that included Wilson.
“He has a way of triggering past traumas,” Good said, referring to Wilson. “He’s taking away the voice of women, LBGTQ people, all of us through his actions.”
Despite giving up his seat in the student government, Good says he will continue attempting to unseat Wilson from the Senate. He has previously filed a Title IX sexual discrimination complaint with the college – though he expressed concerns about the complaint process – and says he will continue to be an active presence in student government affairs.
“There’s nothing in the Constitution, nothing in the by-laws that says a student can’t introduce articles of impeachment,” Good said. “If the student government isn’t willing to do anything about him, I have to keep trying.”
There are currently no plans to hold a special election to elect a new Vice President. President Pro Tempore Keough will act as chair of the Senate until the vacancy is filled.