SGA vice president retracts statement
Ben Williams, the Georgia State Student Government Association’s vice president of student life, said last week he misspoke regarding who previously trashed copies of The Signal newspaper.
“I realized after reading The Signal that I may have misspoken when talking about the individuals who had approached me about SGA taking a stance on the issue,” Williams said in a March 27 email.
As reported in last week’s issue of The Signal, Williams previously said at least two girls came to him and admitted to trashing the papers inside the General Classroom Building. They said they came to him to get the SGA to take a stand on the issue, Williams said.
“Two of the girls who threw away the Signals came to me and they wanted to know what SGA’s position on the assertion made by The Signal that a crime was committed and censorship occurred,” Williams said in an executive board meeting of the SGA on March 22.
However, Williams now says that wasn’t exactly accurate.
“The individuals who came to me did not explicitly state they were involved in throwing away papers, though I know in my presentation of the situation I did not draw that distinction and may have stated they were involved, which is an error on my part,” he said in the March 27 email.
Based on William’s statements, The Signal filed an official complaint with the Dean of Students last Thursday and a report with campus police last Friday, although police initially refused to file a report, saying no crime had occurred because the papers were ultimately recovered.
During his officer report before the SGA Senate on March 29, Williams publically criticized The Signal’s reporting on a wide variety of issues. In a private interview, Williams also recognized his hostility toward the institution.
“I fully agree that there is a lot of animosity from myself towards The Signal. Not necessarily people within it but overall towards the entity,” Williams said. “As important as it is to hold SGA accountable and all student organizations accountable, making sure everyone is getting equal and fair treatment, I think The Signal needs to be held just as much accountable,” Williams said.
While he said he thought investigative reporting and holding the university accountable was important, he said The Signal should be doing more to highlight the positive aspects of the Georgia State community.
“For me, what I think The Signal should be doing is doing a lot of work to showcase what’s going on with student organizations and a lot of positive things,” Williams said.