Ohio Univ. Student Treasurer resigns over 'Blood Bucket Challenge,' declares student senate a 'circus'
One week after four pro-Israel students were arrested protesting Ohio University’s (OU) student senate president’s anti-Semitic video, a four-year student senator resigned at the start of a meeting in protest.
Carter Phillips, who was recently elected treasurer of OU’s student senate, announced his resignation at the beginning of the September 17th meeting, citing the student senate’s atmosphere in the wake of senate president Megan Marzec’s controversial “blood bucket challenge.”
“This is no longer a government. This is a circus,” OU’s student newspaper, The Post Athens, quoted Phillips as saying in his resignation speech.
A university official confirmed to Campus Reform that Phillips’ recommendation for his replacement was unanimously voted into the position that same night.
Phillips’ resignation came in the wake of the controversy and chaos that ensued when Marzec garnered national media attention after releasing a video accepting the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Instead of dumping ice over her head, Marzec dumped a bucket of fake blood and called on the university to divest from Israel. In her video, which was obtained by Campus Reform before it was marked private, Marzec says the blood symbolizes the “thousands of displaced and murdered Palestinians, atrocities which OU is directly complacent in through cultural and economic support of the Israeli state."
“The student senate treasurer's resignation was an individual decision, and University leadership respects that,” a university spokesperson told Campus Reform in an email.The spokesperson also told Campus Reform that Phillips’ resignation isn’t entirely unusual as two officers resigned last year as well as others in the past.
Phillips's resignation earned the student a public letter from Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who praised his decision.
"As Treasurer of the State of Ohio, I was proud to read about the Treasurer of Ohio University’s Student Senate, Carter Phillips, who recently resigned in articulate fashion and with incredible strength," Mandel wrote, according to Legal Insurrection.
Campus Reform reported that four OU students were arrested at the meeting for speaking out against Marzec’s video. The students were charged with fourth-degree misdemeanor for disrupting a lawful meeting.
There is now a petition at OU demanding Marzec's recall, which aims to have over 3,000 signatures before it will be presented to the OU Board of Trustees on Oct. 17th, according to Legal Insurrection. The campaign has also spawned a hashtag, #RecallSSE on Twitter.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @clare_mccallan