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SGA wants Eisenstein off student affairs committee

By Brandon Hayes
On April 1, 2012

The PUC Student Government Association would like the PUC Faculty Senate to investigate the classroom conduct of Associate Professor of Political Science Maurice Eisenstein and remove him from the senate's Student Affairs Committee.

At the March 25 SGA Student Senate meeting, the issues regarding Eisenstein were discussed and a bill titled "Call to Action for the Faculty Investigation of Maurice Eisenstein" was passed.

SGA plans to present this bill at the April 4 Faculty Senate meeting.

SGA Chief of Staff Casey Brandon said they would like the Faculty Senate to investigate Eisenstein's classroom behavior, and would also like to see Eisenstein removed from the Student Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate.

"Obviously, the administration has spoken. I think this is giving the faculty the opportunity to talk about the ethics of the situation," Brandon said.

The bill's purpose states, "An act to call upon the faculty senate to examine the allegations from students claiming the creation of a classroom environment that is not conducive to learning by Associate Professor Maurice Eisenstein."

Senator At-large for Commuter Students Nathyn Gibson said he believes there are students on campus who have questioned the validity of the investigation that the Purdue administration conducted. He said if the faculty cleared him of any wrongdoing, it would back up the original investigation.

"I think there are some students on campus whose opinion of Keon decreased because of the Eisenstein investigation and how secretive it was," Gibson said. "This is not us essentially saying we are for or against Eisenstein, this is more or less saying that we trust the faculty to use good judgment in investigating him."

Senator of the School of Nursing Samantha Curtis said that because of the Eisenstein investigation, the students have been divided. She said the universities separation from the students regarding this issue gives the impression that the university cares about its own and not the students.

"A lot of the students are very appalled by this situation," Curtis said.

When asked whether Eisenstein's presence on the Student Affairs Committee has prevented any progress, SGA Student Body President Jessie Martin said, "It's not worth having another meeting with him."

Martin said the Student Affairs Committee meetings have since been stalled out due to the recent conflicts involving Eisenstein.

"You can't have a meeting with him, because it is hard to conduct business," Martin said. "The last meeting we had with Eisenstein was in September, [and] it was so unproductive that we conduct business one on one now."

Martin said this bill prompts a discussion on conduct in the classroom, which many faculty have expressed they are disgusted with, but they do not have the leverage to do much about.

"We are going to do what we feel is right on behalf of the students," Martin said.

Eisenstein said the claims of creating a hostile environment in his classes are not factual and has been backed up by the universities' investigation.

"The university, with full investigation, with full power, has come through and has said no, it does not exist," Eisenstein said. "It doesn't occur. There is no legal standing. There's nothing at all." "I don't know what to say. The University has said specifically [that] there is no hostile environment created in my classes. There's no argument about that."

Eisenstein said the motion by the SGA is a "bit ironic, because he will be leaving the senate at the end of this semester."

"I'm honestly not really concerned about it, because I don't feel the student affairs committee is doing anything for the students or of any benefit to the students," Eisenstein said. "We haven't had a meeting. Either they kept me uninformed or they didn't want to have me there."

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