Chapman Student Government President-Elect Quits Due to Theft from Frat

Caught with a hand in the cookie jar.
Caught with a hand in the cookie jar.

Not to diminish the otherwise fine work done by our counterparts on Grand Avenue, but I found myself snoozing to the two Chapman University-financed Chapman University sections in the Orange County Register I have read—one this week in our break room, the other months ago in my dentist's waiting room.

The boredom spurred me to ask if I could move up my root canal.

Fortunately for the Reggie, a story just broke that will spice up the section: The student government president-elect is resigning immediately because he allegedly stole money.

You're welcome, my brothers in ink-stained wretchedness!

The motive behind Austin Kernan stepping down is not referenced in the Student Government Association press release credited to Kendall DeVries, the director of Elections, and Kelsey Dalzell, the director of Public Relations.

"SGA’s President-elect, and current Speaker of Senate Austin Kernan, has stepped-down from the role of President-elect due to personal reasons," write DeVries and Dalzell. "He has also resigned as a Student Organization Senator and Speaker of Senate, effective immediately. SGA is proceeding in accordance with the protocols outlined in the SGA documents pertaining to each situation. Subsequently, the matter pertaining to the President-elect position has been referred to the Elections Committee for review, while the matter pertaining to the Senate position will be addressed via procedures outlined in the SGA Bylaws."

But SGA Vice President-elect Tyler Porterfield, who was Kernan's running mate, disclosed to reporter Tryphena Wardlaw of the Chapman Panther student newspaper that Kernan allegedly admitted taking "a pretty significant amount" of money from his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta.

Porterfield, who is currently studying abroad, could not be reached to confirm that report. Kernan is not speaking due to the possible legal implications. Andrew Primavera, Chapman’s Delta Tau Delta chapter president, declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act told the Panther last night, "“Through the fraternity’s internal audit system, it was recently discovered there had been several questionable charges through the fraternity account. Upon our internal investigation and being questioned, Treasurer Austin Kernan confessed he had been using the chapter account for personal expenses.”

Kernan, who was voted into office March 16 and was set to take office May 1, is a junior from San Diego pursuing a double major in Creative Producing and Business Administration, according to his SGA bio, which adds he is a student assistant for Special Events on campus, an associate producer with the Chapman Sports Broadcast Network and, most significantly given the current mess, vice president of Finance for Delta Tau Delta.

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“I can’t thank Chapman enough for the amazing opportunity to attend such a prestigious university," he says in his bio. "In my four years here, I hope and plan to make this school into a place that other schools will aspire to be. From great food establishments, incredible facilities, and helpful professors, Chapman has it all. However, no university is flawless. My mission is to voice every student’s opinion to fix any and all imperfections that Chapman University may have. As the Speaker and a senator, I have taken an oath to place other student’s concerns above my own and to advocate persistently for positive change on campus. And that is exactly what I plan to do.”

So much for plans and—to read the online comments with the Panther story—so much for his freedom. A debate rages there over whether Kernan should be expelled and/or arrested.

Comically, there are also comments from Kevin Spacey ("Porterfield plotted this entire thing House of Cards style. Kudos, Ms. President") and The Donald ("I guess politicians being corrupt starts at a young age.")

So if not Kernan's resignation, the Register's Chapman U page can lead with a piece about celebrities responding to student newspapers. Wakey-wakey!

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