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The bill that started it all: what shaped this year’s election

News is revealed about the manner in which the domestic violence bill was presented to sponsors.
Samuel Herr
Ryan Moore ’26, Lauren Hoffman ’25 and Morgan Anderson ’25 frame their vision for Student Government during the presidential debate.

The election has finally concluded, marking the end of an eventful season. Voters came out in record numbers to make their voices heard, and the stress on the weight of the candidates has finally lifted.

But there is a layer of stress that is unfamiliar to the usual election season: an announcement that came from candidate Ryan Moore ‘26 near the conclusion of the Presidential Debate stating that he would resign from the Senate.

Moore attributes his resignation largely to the toxicity he encountered within student government, as he did the night of the presidential debate.

“I felt that if I could leave Student Government on my own terms and allow people to know that this is why I’m leaving, that I believe this is a toxic environment, and that I don’t think that their voices are being heard because my voice isn’t being heard in Student Government,” Moore explained. “I felt that this was the best way to do it.”

Many were surprised to hear the announcement, including his former Student Government colleagues themselves. The Carroll News sat down with current President Jacob Kozlowski ‘24 and Hamed who shared their reactions to his resignation.

“It was a shock,” commented Hamed. “We didn’t expect it…I don’t think any of us did.” President Kozlowski added, “The timing of resigning there was, as everybody recognizes, purposeful. None of us knew that it was happening.”

One of the memorable quotes from the night of the debate was Moore’s explanation for his resignation. “I will more likely than not be resigning as a senator tonight,” Moore announced. “I will continue to run for president, but I do not think that me going to senate meetings right now is benefiting a single student.”

The general public has largely been unaware of what set this event in motion – until now.

Just a few weeks ago on Oct. 20, the John Carroll student government passed an omnibus bill meant to target domestic violence on campus. The first resolution of the bill (REC02) was written and submitted by Moore. It detailed additional training for Resident Assistants (RAs), specifically through a program called “KnowAbuse” sponsored by the Jewish Family Service Association (JFSA) and listed several RAs on campus as sponsors.

In the Oct. 17 meeting in which the bill was passed, Moore assured his colleagues that the bill had the full support of multiple administrators, including Title IX Coordinator and Director of Community Standards and Student Wellbeing Emily Sherwood. Sherwood, among many other essential jobs on campus, oversees part of the training RAs receive. “She [Emily Sherwood] was incredibly optimistic, she loves it,” Moore claimed, referring to RES02. “She agrees our current training needs a little bit of a revamp.”

However, what was promised to the rest of the Senate in the Oct. 17 meeting was not the reality of the situation. After concerns were raised, Hamed and Kozlowski alike sat down with Sherwood to discuss what vision had been agreed on for the collaboration between the Student Government and her office.

“Everyone was under the impression that Emily Sherwood had agreed to have KnowAbuse be a part of the RA training,” Hamed detailed. “When I met with her, she said the agreement she had with Ryan was a lunch-and-learn that was not mandatory to RAs and would be open to the public.”

The miscommunication extended even to the RAs who were listed as sponsors. Three sponsors in total were surprised to hear they had been listed as sponsors on REC02. They relayed to the Senate on Oct. 31 that they had never given their approval to be sponsors on the bill, and, even more alarming, had not been informed the bill even existed.

“Senator Moore and the RAs did discuss this. They had conversations – some I believe at length – about the topic of domestic violence, the role of RAs to address that, JFSA, KnowAbuse. That was all discussed,” Kozlowski clarified. “But if you ask an RA a simple question: ‘If I told you, right now, you’re a sponsor on this bill, would that surprise you?’ And if three say ‘yes,’ there’s an issue.”

Resident Assistant and Peer Health Advocate Veronica Mikhail ‘25 stepped forward to speak at the most recent Senate meeting on Oct. 31. Moore was not in attendance. Mikhail testified to her surprise at being made a sponsor. “I was approached by Ryan. He talked to me about more RA training regarding domestic violence,” Mikhail explained. “I told him I support that but I never was asked to be a sponsor on the bill. I didn’t even know there was a bill until I saw the article, I was shocked, honestly.”

Following her testimony, senators shared their thoughts surrounding these events. They emphasized their hopes to right the wrongs done and set a precedent for how bills should be correctly passed in the future, and how they, as representatives of the student body, intended to work together to resolve these issues. “Everybody in the room is working toward one common goal, and that is for the 3200 people not in this room,” Senator Samuel Herr ‘26 remarked. “It’s all of us versus the problem and not all of us versus each other.”

Once all comments had been voiced, the Senate voted to repeal REC02. The senators heavily emphasized that the issue was not with the subject of the bill or the author, but rather, with the way the bill was passed.

“The thing that Senator Moore started has the potential to be a beautiful thing,” Kozlowski remarked. “The work goes forward, we just have to correct the legislative error” When asked if he would have approved the bill having known this information, Kozlowski remarked: “Would I have supported it? No. Would I support the idea with a bill done correctly? Every day of the week.”

Addressing the remarks about toxicity within the Student Government, Kozlowski commented: “This is not a toxic environment. This is the first term that I’ve been in Student Government where 90% of our membership is on the same page. I think I speak for 90% of our organization when I say that this is a good organization to be a part of. We’re doing good things, and we’re proud to be a part of Student Government.”

Following the debate, there has been an influx of online harassment that has been directed at all three candidates, especially at Moore. Recently, on the anonymous social media platform known as YikYak, there has been a rise of hateful comments directed at the appearance and sexuality of Moore. The other two candidates also found themselves to be the subjects of hateful comments, which they reported and had taken down. Moore brought up these incidents in an email addressed to the Chair of the Elections Committee, Lily Free ‘24.

When asked to comment, Free replied: “The Elections Committee takes all complaints from candidates seriously, especially when they invoke personal attacks. The comments Ryan Moore is referring to are inappropriate and have no place in our election process or JCU community. The Elections Committee unanimously decided to report these comments through the JCU Bias Reporting System. We believe Ryan and all candidates should be able to seek student leadership roles without fear of personal attack or retaliation.”

Student Government is working to be open and receptive to any comments or concerns the student body may have. To contact JCU’s representatives, email [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Vic Jackson, Student Government Beat Reporter
Vic Jackson is the Student Government Beat Reporter for The Carroll News from Akron, Ohio. He is a sophomore at John Carroll University double majoring in Communications (Digital Media) and English (Creative Writing) and minoring in Peace, Justice & Human Rights (PJHR). Aside from The Carroll News, Vic is a DJ for The Heights, a student researcher for the Tim Russert Department of Communications, part of Black Students in Action (BSA) and the East Asian Student Association (EASA), a member of JCU's acapella group Sweet Carrollines and a barista at Saxby's, among other things. In their free time, they enjoy listening to R&B and jazz, writing poetry, admiring art and fashion, spending time outdoors and hanging out with friends. After graduation, Vic hopes to work at a major broadcasting station or be a world news journalist for a national news organization. To contact Vic, email him at [email protected].

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