Sources: George G. lied to Senate

Sources: George G. lied to Senate

Cash flow may be a problem for George G. IV lately, but sources say he’s had more important things to worry about.

George G. cited financial strains last month when he resigned from his position as Student Government Association (SGA) executive vice president for student affairs, the second-highest position in student government.

But the move was forced by an infraction against the Code of Student Conduct resulting in probation, several sources familiar with the situation told The News.

In the days leading to his resignation, George G. was the subject of an investigation by the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR) on charges of harassment and the misuse of university identification, a source close to the situation said.

Identifying circumstances

George G. ‘s trouble began last March. It was marked by three incidents, beginning with Campus Invasion and ending in June, the sources said.

Campus Invasion, a biannual student government event aimed at helping organization leaders connect with constituents, offered surveys, hot chocolate, popcorn and prizes, as well as the chance for students to catch a ride to class on a golf cart.

At one point during the day, George G.  borrowed then-SGA executive vice president for student affairs John Guilfoil’s Husky Card to retrieve supplies from the SGA office, the sources said.

Guilfoil had swipe access to the office, located on the third floor of the student center, which is restricted to e-board members, assistants and work studies. George G.  was a senator at the time and did not have swipe access with his own card.

Before returning outside, sources say George G. made color copies of Guilfoil’s Husky Card and attempted to attach the prints to several of the golf carts.

Ashley Adams, who was SGA president at the time, asked George G. to remove the copies, “as this was embarrassing to John and spoke very poorly of our organization,” according to an e-mail obtained by The News.

The e-mail, dated June 21, was sent by Adams to Rogan O’Handley, who was vice president for student services at the time, as well as SGA faculty advisors.

O’Handley assumed the association’s presidency the following day.

Adams declined comment about her involvement in the matter when approached by The News.

The e-mail corroborates an account of the three incidents involving George G. that several sources familiar with the situation described to The News, including a third and final occurrence the day the e-mail was sent.

The e-mail, with the subject line, “Situation Requiring Immediate Action,” was sent “to make [O’Handley] aware of a situation that has escalated to an inappropriate level with a member of [his] incoming executive board.”

Copying the past

Sources say the next incident arose before the student government’s Passing of the Gavel Ceremony, a yearly event that commemorates a change in the guard from an outgoing to incoming e-board.

While setting up for the night ahead, George G.  left a color copy of Guilfoil’s Husky Card at every place setting in the faculty dining hall, the sources said.

Guilfoil was not present at the time, and the matter was resolved without much public attention, the source close to the situation said.

In her e-mail to O’Handley, Adams said she arrived at the scene about half an hour before the event was scheduled to begin, but upon her arrival, “asked George G. to remove [the copies] and alerted him to the inappropriateness of this action, especially since the event was designed to commemorate the current executive board and needless, cruel acts such as this were not something that spoke highly towards our organization.”

Sources say the third and final incident brought the situation to a setting outside the realm of student government, and ultimately into the realm of OSCCR.

Upon his arrival to class in Shillman Hall, the sources said Guilfoil found color copies of his Husky Card on nearly every seat in the room.

“Not only was John humiliated,” Adams said about the incident in her e-mail to O’Handley, “but after the amount of time he has given to this organization it is appalling to see a future executive board member conduct himself in such a horrid manner lacking all sorts of respect and decorous behavior.”

Sources say Guilfoil subsequently filed a report with the Northeastern Police Department (NUPD).

An account in the Public Safety report log from that day, reported to The News without the names of students involved, was attributed by sources to Guilfoil and George G.

“A student reported that he had loaned his Husky ID to a friend who needed it to swipe into an area,” said Jim Ferrier, associate director of Public Safety. “At some point, days later, there were enlarged photocopies of his ID that were left in 325 Shillman, and he took it as offensive,” Ferrier said. “He knew immediately who must have done it, and they were friends. The other person apparently admitted it to him and said it was just a practical joke.”

Ferrier said the complaint was later retracted. “He then called us back afterward to tell us his friend had apologized and he didn’t want any police action.”

But the report had already been filed.

“We sent it to OSCCR because the initial complaint was ID misuse and harassment,” Ferrier said.

By the book

The Code of Student Conduct states that the unauthorized use of university identification, “or unauthorized use of the university’s name or other identifying mark in printed publications,” is considered a Level IV violation.

For an infraction of this degree, punishment can range up to and including probation, which would result in the loss of membership in campus activities, including officially-recognized student groups like SGA.

The Code of Student Conduct also includes stipulations prohibiting unauthorized access on university property, including “access or entry to, into, or onto any university premises, building, room, structure, or facility.”

The source close to the situation said George G. stepped down from his position in student government about one week after the proceedings.

“Just based on the timeline of events…all of a sudden there were these gaping financial issues,” the source said.

When asked to confirm whether he was or had been involved in a recent OSCCR proceeding, Guilfoil said, “I cannot confirm nor deny anything of that nature, and I would not be at liberty to discuss anything of that subject matter at any time.”

In the interest of full disclosure, Guilfoil was elected design editor of The News last month.

O’Handley said he did not know of any such scenario and said he was unaware of where such information originated.

“I trust George when he told the organization that it was because of financial reasons, and for someone in his situation, I think it’s not easy to publicize those circumstances to the public,” O’Handley said.

However, as head of the association, O’Handley would have been notified by the university within days of the ruling that George G. was no longer eligible to serve in his elected position, the source said.

George G. refused to be interviewed except by e-mail, but had not replied to an e-mail inquiry as of press time.

Eight days after the sudden resignation, former Vice President for Administration and Public Relations Adriana Campos was elected to fill the vacancy in an uncontested election at an emergency Joint Senate meeting.

It marked the third time in as many years that an SGA executive board member has stepped down from office.

In securing the position last April, George G. ran on a platform that cited problems with OSCCR as an area in need of reform.

In 2004, George G. was suspended from the university on charges of the sale and distribution of alcohol to minors, hosting an illegal party and possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor, according to News reports at the time.

He was subsequently required to resign from his position as a senator in student government at the time, along with then-SGA president Andres Vargas.

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