Student government removes undersecretary of dining over tweets

Update (Feb. 25): Storm Paglia has provided an official statement to Fourth Estate regarding his removal from Student Government. Fourth Estate will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Statement from Storm Paglia


 

George Mason University’s Student Government has announced the removal of a student representative, confirmed as Storm Paglia, former executive undersecretary for university services for dining services, after comments he made on Twitter were deemed offensive.

Paglia sent out the following tweets on Feb. 13 regarding undocumented people in the United States.

Storm Tweet 2 Storm Tweet 3

 

“While we all live in a society that permits us to express our opinions, we must also recognize that we live with the consequences of their impact on those we represent, wrote Student Body President Phillip Abbruscato in an official statement to the university. “The organization was made aware of concerns from students regarding comments made by an individual member of the organization.”

Paglia was installed into his position last May by Abbruscato and confirmed by the Student Senate. He is also the current General Manager of WGMU Radio and the former President of Sigma Alpha Epsilon on Mason’s campus.

“Student government does not in any way condone or endorse these comments,” Abbruscato wrote. “Demeaning or profane remarks made of any kind made by members of Student Government will not be tolerated at any level regardless of belief.”

Abbruscato’s statement affirmed the importance of diversity in Student Government’s work, particularly when it comes to representing the entire student body.

“Our organization embraces a multitude of students and ideas and our diversity sparks innovation, new ideas emerge when different points of view come together,” Abbruscato wrote.

The statement mentions that positions in the Executive Cabinet are now open, but Black Mason United will also be hosting an informational event tonight on “Minorities in Student Government” at the Office of Diversity Inclusion and Multicultural Education.

When asked, Paglia declined to make a comment at this time but did say he was in the process of exploring means of recourse.

 

  • John Hill

    Tune in tonight to WGMU live online at 10PM. http://wgmuradio.com/ This is a very important issue to our school. We’ll be discussing tolerance, diversity, and free speech (all related to this issue). Hope you can tune in.

    • ShadrachSmith

      You explore the part of morality that I call Liberal Taqiyya. It is common to all tribal societies, and expressed with special clarity by feminists and Islamic Jihadists.

      Liberal Taqiyya requires, as an affirmative moral duty, that all liberal jihadists/activists not only support any lie that supports them and theirs, but they must treat ‘heretics’ like Torquemada judging the Marranos and Moriscos.

      Why do you think so many otherwise good and reasonable people post so many hateful lies about conservative posters? It is Liberal Taqiyya that makes them think attacking heresy with hateful lies is their moral duty. Would some locals put me in a cage and watch me burn…who can say 🙂

      • TwoFootTackle

        Word salad.

        • ShadrachSmith

          Word salad? Not at all. It is new and useful vocabulary. Don the invincible armor of ignorance if you wish but she committed the sin of making Democrat Campaign memes less embraceable, so she will be punished…with viciousness.

          And you will say to yourself, she was evil…betraying a Democrat Political Campaign meme is always evil?

          • TwoFootTackle

            What are you talking about? You make no sense.
            Who is “she?”
            What “Democrat [sic] Campaign?”
            You are either insane or you are master of some 3D chess level of trolling.

          • ShadrachSmith

            What part of: Liberal Taqiyya requires, as an affirmative moral duty, that all liberal jihadists/activists not only support any lie that supports them and theirs, but they must treat ‘heretics’ like Torquemada judging the Marranos and Moriscos….escapes you 🙂

  • MasonStudent

    And this is why I’ve never had anything to do with Student Government.
    Removed for an offensive comment on Twitter?
    Maybe I’m offended by people who come here illegally while the law-abiding (including members of my own family) are waiting YEARS to get a visa.
    Why don’t some of you from SG try studying abroad in any other country without a student visa and see what happens to you? Make sure to tell the host country you’d like to pay in-state rates.
    Being called “illegal” will be the least of your concerns.

  • A veteran

    Beware my young, politically correct friends. It is a short trip from being what you are now to becoming the Khmer Rouge.

    • TwoFootTackle

      Slippery Slope logical fallacy.

      • A veteran

        We’re saved! The IQ police have arrived.

        • TwoFootTackle

          Explain in detail the short trip to becoming the Khmer Rouge or admit you’re using hyperbole to support a weak argument.

          I may not be the IQ police you want, but clearly, I’m the IQ police you need.

          • A veteran

            Impress yourself much?

          • TwoFootTackle

            Compared to you, impressing myself isn’t difficult.

            You still haven’t explained how Mason or America becomes a violent, totalitarian state from a student organization expelling a student member, who volunteered to represent all students at Mason, for using racist language in violation of a code of conduct policy he agreed to follow.

            I’d also be interested in learning why you claim that expressing yourself about government policy or society has become risky for you. How have you unjustly suffered for expressing yourself?

          • A veteran

            Finally, we agree on something. I am sure I don’t bask in the warmth of my own awesomeness as much as you do. I’ll give you that one.

            Mason as a breeding ground for young, mindless, totalitarians (my ever growing opinion) is a mere symptom of a much larger problem in America as close as todays news. The federal government just voted itself the power to regulate the internet. They want “fairness” or “neutrality.” What it really means is that the FCC majority, Democrats for now, will silence their enemies and promote like minded people and causes. So, from today’s events alone, I can demonstrate encroaching totalitarianism. What does that current song say? “Don’t believe me, just watch!”

            As far as “illegal” being racist, I disagree. On the assumption that your implication is that “illegal” is racist toward hispanics, I submit this. I am not hispanic, but speak Spanish and have been VERY deeply embedded in the hispanic community here and abroad. I know many who were born as American as you or me, and many who immigrated legally, some to become citizens as well. I intend no racism toward anyone, hispanic or otherwise, if I point out that they entered this country without legal permission, i.e. illegally. It is simply a statement of fact.

  • roccolore

    Democrats = racist hypocrites

    • TwoFootTackle

      Explain the hypocrisy and the racism.

      • roccolore

        Do you think the school would have taken action had it been a Mexican defending special tuition breaks for illegals?

        • TwoFootTackle

          No, because your hypothetical “Mexican” wouldn’t have used derogatory language in a tweet attacking a group of students for their identity.

          “Illegals” is a racist code word for undocumented immigrants and is almost always used in an attack against Latinos. People who feel defensive about using the term and who refuse to quit using it show who they truly are.

          Undocumented immigrant students aren’t receiving “breaks.” They’re paying the same tuition as citizens and documented immigrants for residing within the state where their school is located.

          • Elk Tracks

            Truth is “hate speech” to whacked out liberals.
            Therefore speaking the truth must me punished at all costs.

          • TwoFootTackle

            I agree that there are some liberals who are “whacked out,” just as there are conservatives who are “whacked out.”

            But can you give me an example where something that was true was considered “hate speech” by any significant number of liberals?

            Do you mean that all spoken truth is punished? Punished how? Can you give examples?

          • Elk Tracks

            Just look at the example above . . .”Illegals” is a racist code word for undocumented immigrants and is almost always used in an attack against Latinos.

            What a load of Horse-sh*t . . . . to use the Cowboy vernacular.

            “Illegal” means here illegally. Nothing else. Not Mexican, Cuban, South American, Chinese, or ANY other nationality. It Means ILLEGAL !!! . . . . Period!

            Punished how ? ? ? . . . . Once again look above . . . .
            He lost his position in the student government . . . .

  • firedup49

    I agree 100% with him
    in New Jersey last Saturday at Rutgers University they had a registration fair for Illegals only…
    They get state tuition and they are forming a scholarship for them.

  • The right thing would be addressing the merit of the Tweets in question, and proving that they reflect plain lack of knowledge. Then, there would be a question if Americans have a right to be stupid. The eventual
    removal, could be justified only, if views of Mr. Paglia diminish his ability to perform his duties. From afar, the removal appears not justified.
    On the margin, Mr. Paglia and others similarly disoriented are welcome to see a lecture:
    http://youtu.be/wOedOhNJD04
    and follow with the readings:
    http://www.freedomofmigration.com/

  • Maynard Creel

    When I attended GMU in the Govt and Politics Department we still had a Constitution and free speech. I left in 1983. Prior to that event a member of the faculty was dismissed for his apparently radical views. I am certain he would be very comfortable in teaching on a college campus today. The group think on campus today is not encouraging and the stifling of others opinions as conservatives or Libertarians is very troubling. The purpose of a university has always been learning new ideas and becoming more tolerant of opposing viewpoints. Codifying some of the intolerance is equally troubling. I always thought being educated was expanding one’s horizons, learning how to think in new and enabling ways, finding and refining one’s talents, and preparing yourself for future success. In short becoming a mature adult and taking responsibility as an educated citizen. Always to think for yourself and not like the Paris mobs in the French Revolution that sent the opposition to the guillotine because apparently everybody supported that idea. At least that was the rumor. Good luck all.

  • D Guest

    Diversity – you keep using that word – I do not think it means what you think it means.
    Obviously at GMU diversity means you must conform to the officially approved way of thinking.
    Diversity of thought is not allowed at GMU.

  • seriously

    WOW – how embarrassing! “…reaffirmed the importance of diversity” and “Our organization embraces a multitude of students and ideas and our diversity sparks innovation, new ideas emerge when different points of view come together,” Abbruscato wrote – I could not agree more – unfortunately – your actions against Mr. Paglia are exactly opposite of the words you wrote. What you must have meant to write was: different ideas as long as it doesn’t offend the liberal agenda. We only get better ideas through open debate – not one sided – don’t be afraid. George Mason – The father of the Bill of Rights would be ashamed of this action…

  • KB

    if his comments had been made about people who were “undocumented,” he might be able to hide behind a free speech argument. as it stands, his comments are poorly thought out and clearly offensive (and even MEANT to be offensive. look at the way he capitalizes the word for full effect — treatment he also gives to the word “disgusting.” he obviously equates the two). he is refusing to acknowledge that a person can’t be “illegal.” a person who breaks a law isn’t living an illegal existence; they don’t have documentation. calling someone “illegal” might as well be a shortcut to saying, “i don’t think you deserve an existence.”

    i’ll tell you what IS a crime, though: this asshat’s name. storm? honestly?

    • A veteran

      If they are not here on a U.S. issued visa or have been granted temporary or permanent resident alien status by USCIS, then they are, in fact, here in violation of U.S. law and living here illegally. The special treatment they are getting, especially financial, for political purposes, can easily be seen as an affront to every born citizen, naturalized citizen and legally resident alien who is struggling to live their lives in accordance with our laws. But for one of them to express how they feel is simply not to be tolerated by the bright young minds of Mason.

      • TwoFootTackle

        I’m a citizen, and I don’t consider granting in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants residing in-state as an affront.

        We’ve always been a nation of immigrants (my ancestors were some of the original English immigrants to North America in the 1600s), and all immigrant groups been both welcomed and villainized in turn over the years: Germans, Irish, Italians, Jews, Japanese, Chinese, Mexicans, and so on. African immigrants, especially prior to 1865, are a special case due to the then involuntary nature of their immigration, but I digress. Sometimes the law has been flexible and has let many immigrants into the country, and sometimes the law has capriciously turned on a dime and tried to keep everyone out (or everyone from certain groups out). We need immigrants, all kinds of immigrants, and we need to change our immigration policy to recognize that. We can and should discuss and debate immigration policy, but we should not tolerate racist, inflammatory language.

        • MasonStudent

          In-state residents receive a lower rate because they pay state taxes that help fund the university. This is not the case for illegal aliens.

          • TwoFootTackle

            Undocumented immigrants also pay state taxes. I did a Google search for you to prove it. You’re welcome. And stop using the term “illegal aliens.” It makes you sound like an old racist uncle.

            http://www.itep.org/immigration/

            http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/high-school/top-10-myths-about-immigration

            http://money.cnn.com/2014/11/20/news/economy/immigration-myths/

            http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2014/04/15/3426680/tax-day-undocumented-immigrants-pay-taxes/

          • MasonStudent

            You can’t file taxes without a social security number, and social security numbers are not given out to non-resident aliens.

            For an illegal (yes, I’ll keep using the term to describe people who break the law) to have an SSN, they would have to either steal one from a citizen or acquire one using false documentation. If they can do all that, surely they can apply to school with their new identity and won’t be considered an “undocumented student” in the first place.

          • A veteran

            Here is a Google for you braniac.

            “Illegal Alien
            Also known as an “Undocumented Alien,” is an alien who has entered the United States illegally and is deportable if apprehended, or an alien who entered the United States legally but who has fallen “out of status” and is deportable.”

            http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Immigration-Terms-and-Definitions-Involving-Aliens

            So give the IRS a call and tell them they are racist.

            And while you are at it, call the Department of Homeland Security and tell them to knock it off too.

            “Legalized Aliens – Certain illegal aliens who were eligible to apply for temporary resident status under the legalization provision of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. To be eligible, aliens must have continuously resided in the United States in an unlawful status since January 1, 1982, not be excludable, and have entered the United States either 1) illegally before January 1, 1982, or 2) as temporary visitors before January 1, 1982, with their authorized stay expiring before that date or with the Government’s knowledge of their unlawful status before that date. Legalization consists of two stages-temporary and then permanent residency. In order to adjust to permanent status aliens must have had continuous residence in the United States, be admissible as an immigrant, and demonstrate at least a minimal understanding and knowledge of the English language and U.S. history and government.”

            http://www.dhs.gov/definition-terms#0

    • wow

      “illegal” is a noun and adjective….http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/illegal

      So yes, a person can be an “illegal immigrant” or just an “illegal”.

      It’s just a description….and an accurate one as long as that person is breaking that law related to immigration.

      This term isn’t new, all recent presidents have been cited using the term atleast once.

      Anything can be “offensive”, because all you need is some to say “I was offended”….the question should be, does this really affect his job performance working with dining services?

    • DaveMed

      That’s a nonsensical “argument.”

      I love it when leftists try to play this kind of linguistic game. Sorry; the adults aren’t falling for it.

  • Jason Von Kundra

    Student Government made the right move! An organization that is the voice of the student body can not stand to let their membership insult the very students they represent. When you are in student government, you are acting as a representative of student government when you post on social media. That is made clear when you join the organization.

    • A veteran

      You make it sound as if the Mason student body are the Borg, a giant collective with a single mind. I just wonder how many Mason students actually agree with him but have been bludgeoned into silence by the speech police? Maybe his expression represents more students than you think.

      Or maybe not.

      Mason is quickly gaining a rep for politically correct intolerance and adherence to a militant “social justice” dogma. For someone who has lived in the real world for a while, A Mason degree is starting to look more like a warning than a recommendation.

      • MasonStudent

        To paraphrase Howard Roark — thinking is an individual act, so there can be no collective mind. Student Government does not speak for me.

        I find Mason less adherent to political correctness than most universities but it may also depend on which department you are in.

        • A veteran

          An Ayn Rand fan. A spark of hope lingers.

  • Seth Dunoff

    To Storm: I see your side of the issue and agree with you it is hypocritical for Student Government to claim to promote free speech and then remove you from your position for expressing your opinion on immigrants and in-state tuition. However, I believe you were not removed simply for holding that opinion; I think you were removed for the way you expressed it. In my opinion, by capitalizing the word “ILLEGALS” and simply referring to illegal immigrants as ILLEGALS, not illegal immigrants, you projected disrespect for illegal immigrants. Maybe this situation disgusts you, and maybe that is why you wrote it that way, and it is fine if it disgusts you that illegal immigrants (undocumented people, etc) get in-state tuition while you have to pay out of state. It is fine if it disgusts you; however, if you want to be able to state your opinion, it appears you will need to do so in a more civilized manner. I think if you had written, “I do not like that illegal immigrants are able to pay in-state tuition while I have to pay out-of-state tuition because I come from New Jersey,” you probably would not have been removed from your position within student government. It appears that yes, you may hold almost any opinion you like (unless it is clearly morally wrong or discriminatory); and no, you may not state it anyway you want (you may face consequences if you speak rudely or derogatorily). Imagine if you were stating your opposition to affirmative action and you had tweeted “I don’t see why these N—–S get special treatment.” I don’t think it would surprise you if you were to get removed from your position for that tweet. I think this is the same principle, just with a much less derogatory term. Feel free to respond with any questions, comments, or feedback.

    • TwoFootTackle

      Well put. Excellent comment. If you’re a Mason grad or student, then you make me prouder to be a Mason alumnus.

    • Elk Tracks

      Must not use the “Caps Lock” !!!
      Else someone may be offended 🙁

      • TwoFootTackle

        It’s not the “Caps Lock,” it’s the word that the caps lock is intended to emphasize that is offensive. “Illegals” is intended to be derogatory and is used to attack people who are unwanted because of their skin color, language, culture and other characteristics.

        • Elk Tracks

          So you know what “Illegals” is intended to be / mean ? ? ?

          I say “Illegals” infers . . . . people illegally immigrating to the United States.
          “The act by foreign nationals of entering the United States without government permission (i.e., a visa) and in violation of immigration laws of the United States, or staying beyond the termination date of a visa, also in violation of the law.”

        • Seth Dunoff

          Disagree. Storm did not attack anyone because of their skin color or any of the other characteristics you listed. Storm had an issue with the illegality of their immigration/ residence in the United States. While people who are the victims of discrimination by the criteria you described may frequently be the same people who are illegal immigrants, I don’t think it’s fair to accuse Storm of discrimination by those characteristics. That’s not to say he might not feel that way (be a racist). He might. But I don’t think it’s fair to accuse him of it because in my opinion he didn’t say anything racist. I bet people assume that Storm is upset over Mexicans or other Latin Americans getting in-state tuition. But we have no proof that he would not be just as upset over an Italian or someone from wherever his family is from getting in-state tuition after illegally immigrating. If he’d be equally upset over someone from any country or race illegally immigrating and getting in-state tuition, I don’t think it’s about race, I think it’s about illegal immigrants getting in-state tuition. #correctingpeople #notsureifthiscommentiswarranted #possiblyImisunderstoodyou

      • Seth Dunoff

        Yep. Unless you write something positive.

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  • Eagle 77

    As an alum, I now have another reason not to send money to GMU. If they can use resources to stifle free speech, the they have more than enough money.

    Thanks!
    GMU MA ’06

  • o0Nighthawk0o

    Perhaps he should have used the more accurate word; Criminals.

  • another Mason student

    I’m so embarrassed to be attending a school in which students that are supposedly encouraged to voice their ideas and opinions are punished for doing just that. And he has a point. Illegals are here illegally and are thus technically referred to as illegal immigrants….What’s the problem again?

    On second thought..Maybe instead of my parents having gone through such an extensive process for citizenship to be able to send me to this school they should’ve come here illegally and made that process easier for me.

  • DaveMed

    The GMU student government is pathetic.

    Storm Paglia was right.

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