The Daily Gamecock

Fraternity Council President Tim Bryson removed from office

Tim Bryson, the first black Fraternity Council president in the school's history, was officially impeached and removed from his position as Fraternity Council President Monday night.

Only a two-thirds vote was necessary to impeach Bryson, but 19 fraternities voted for it and five voted against it which far surpassed the two-thirds requirement. The vote was conducted anonymously.

Bryson was a crucial figure in the implementation of a five-day hold on formal recruitment for 13 fraternities, a move which Bryson said was for the health and safety of potential new members, a decision which he defends.

"I stand firm and unwavered (sic) in my decision to halt recruitment for five days. Suspending recruitment for five whole days was a courtesy, especially when our community was at risk," he said. "It's hard to accept that my university president praises me for the decision that was made while I am impeached by the members and community  I protected.

In an anonymous release, the original four presidents seeking his impeachment said that he had gone beyond the boundaries of his office in levying the hold, but

"The delegates applaud him for his efforts and improvements made to the entire Greek community," a Tuesday press release read. "However, in an act of self-governance, the council delegates felt the need to move in a different direction in wake of the recruitment suspension."

Bryson believes that he would not have been impeached if he was a member of an IFC fraternity, which are majority white.

"However," he continued "I also don't think that an IFC president would have been courageous and made this decision ... I don't believe race was the sole reason for my impeachment, but I don't think we can excuse it from the conversation."

Daniel Glover, president of Alpha Phi Alpha, said that Bryson's impeachment would bring up "questions"  between the Fraternity Council and members of multicultural fraternities.

"I feel like everything in there is definitely going to open up some dialogue," he said. "Some things that need to be addressed are going to be addressed pretty soon."

On Twitter, Bryson was defiant in the face of the ruling:

Jonathan Withrow, former Vice President of Conduct, resigned earlier this month, saying that the majority of chapter presidents didn't have the best interest of new members in mind.

"The move to impeach ... President Tim Bryson and I is the nail in the coffin of self-governance for the Greek community here at USC," he said in his resignation letter. "It has shown the whole community that a large number of fraternity chapters would rather place blame on others than look themselves in the mirror and examine their own actions."

As for his future, Bryson said that much of it will consist of trying to improve the health and safety of the student body.

"No longer President of Fraternity Council, I am forever committed to addressing health and safety concerns of our community," he said "With the support of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and Student Health Services, I look forward to working with Fraternity Council to creating a more diverse, inclusive community that supports the mind, body, and spirit of its members – free from risk, harm, and danger."

Lander Smith, Fraternity Council Vice President of Finance and member of Sigma Nu, is now Acting President of Fraternity Council while the President's seat is empty.

Fraternity Council will fill both President and Vice President roles a week from Monday.