The Daily Gamecock

Fraternity Council leadership unclear after Withrow resigns as Vice President of Conduct

Jonathan Withrow officially resigned from his position as Vice President of Conduct Monday evening, lambasting the majority of the chapter presidents for failing to protect the health and safety of new members.

"In this evening's Interfraternity Council meeting it became abundantly clear that my values did not line up with those of the vast majority of fraternity presidents at the University of South Carolina," he said. "Their priorities did not include promoting responsible conduct or peer accountability, but in continuing the status quo of dangerous behavior, blatant disregard for authority, and seeking retribution on anybody who they perceive as a threat."

His resignation comes after a group of four unnamed chapter presidents began impeachment proceedings against him at Monday evening's Fraternity Council meeting.

Their case, which was submitted to and read by Vice President of Finance Frank Smith — who is unaffiliated with the four presidents — cited Fraternity Council President Tim Bryson and Withrow for actions unbecoming of a member of Fraternity Council when the two suspended the recruitment of 13 fraternities Aug. 31.

"The constitutional bylaws do not grant the Fraternity Council president and Fraternity Council VP of Conduct the right to suspend recruitment," their case read. "Bryson and Withrow unlawfully breached the authority granted to them by the Fraternity Council's constitution and bylaws."

They allege that the decision to suspend recruitment was not made by the entire Fraternity Council, and was instead the independent action of some of its members, despite Bryson's repeated claim Monday that it was "the Fraternity Council's" decision.

Of Withrow's resignation, the anonymous members said "we respect him for his time in office and respecting our opinions" in a press release.

Withrow defended his conduct in his letter calling his actions "the right decision" and saying that the move to impeach is "the nail in the coffin of self-governance for the Greek Community here at USC."

Bryson, also under impeachment, temporarily relinquished his responsibilities as Fraternity Council president in the face of an upcoming vote next week which will determine whether or not he remains in office. 

This is standard procedure according to the most recent constitution, which states that any sitting president brought up on charges will temporarily relinquish their position during this period. 

In such a situation, however, the seat would then be assumed by the Vice President of the Conduct Board, a position which is currently vacant.

The confluence of Withrow's resignation and Bryson's stepping aside has led to an extraordinary circumstance: there is no clear leader of Fraternity Council as of Monday night. 

When asked who the interim Fraternity Council president was, Bryson declined to answer, saying that he couldn't comment on who filled the position.