By Alainna-Caitlyn Earl (Whetstone Staff Writer)
Rev. John R. Scott Sr. sits in the Zimmerman residence hall office and holds two pieces of paper: his letter of resignation, and a list of everything IMPACT Ministry has accomplished over the last five years.
“I am going to dedicate more of my time toward my studies in theology,” he said. “I’ll be able to reach my completion date for my Masters in June. I needed the time off but I don’t like how it happened.”
For the past five years Scott, a security guard, was the adviser for five organizations, including IMPACT Ministry, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, African Students Association/Dance Team, Dance Team “New Era” and Creative Attributions.
His work as an adviser ended December when he resigned from all five organizations. His resignation came after a botched event that IMPACT Ministry sponsored.
Clyde Broderick, a Christian artist promoter and owner of thenightlynoodle.org, was hired to help IMPACT run a Christian Music Lounge event. He was approached last November by senior Jasmine Oden, a founder and member of IMPACT, about doing an event for Wesley in December.
“Jasmine went to my first two events and she ended up talking to me about doing events on campus,” Broderick said. “Most of my events are at the University of Delaware and bigger colleges. She wanted to have something hosted at Wesley College.”
“We were in contact with Clyde in November, about six weeks prior to the event,” Oden said.
“We set up that date with two different contracts,” Broderick said. “I signed one four different times. It said that Wesley College agreed to provide certain things and that it would be on campus and promoted.”
Problems arose during the planning of the event, both Oden and Broderick said, including a lack of volunteers, communication problems and contract disputes.
“We communicated mostly through emails and we decided to have the event on Dec. 6,” Broderick said. “I reached out to John Scott months before the event and he would read the messages and he wouldn’t respond. We finally communicated on Facebook.”
Only three people had volunteered to help with the event, Oden said, and most of the details that should have been done were not.
Oden and Scott canceled the event 10 days before it was to occur because it was “too rushed” and “unprofessional,” Oden said.
Broderick got the word a few days after his event was canceled.
“I got a message from Jasmine a week before saying that it was cancelled,” he said. “I already paid for flights, venues and other things I wasn’t reimbursed for.”
Broderick was reimbursed by the school.
“The total cost I spent was around $2,200,” Broderick said.” I showed them how much money I spent, how much I lost. I ended up having a talk with (Director of Campus Life) Elana Baukman about what we should do, and I was reimbursed.”
Scott said he was pressured to resign.
“I was asked to take the blame,” he said.
Director of Security Walt Beaupre enforced a long-held policy that effectively did not allow security guards to advise student organizations because it created a conflict of interest.
The policy states that to avoid conflicts of interest, security officers have to maintain a position of professionalism and sometimes exert authority in interactions with students, said Cynthia Newton, SGA adviser and political science professor.
This policy was enforced when Scott was told he had violated it because of the third party involved – a promoter.
Scott’s resignation effects not only IMPACT but the other four organizations in which he was involved.
Scott was a mentor for every student in the organizations and on campus, said junior Molly Johnson, an IMPACT vice president.
“He would greet students when passing them in the halls, and if they were having trouble or needed someone to talk to, he was always there to listen,” she said.
Steve LaMotte, the Wesley College chaplain was made the new adviser of Impact.
“The resignation of Mr. Scott will have an effect on IMPACT as he had a great relationship with many of the students there,” LaMotte said.” Scott took a lot of time to invest in the students of Impact in a positive way.”
“I don’t think many people realize the important roles he played in keeping student organizations running smoothly,” Johnson said.
IMPACT is now taking steps to regroup itself after the incident.
“The board of IMPACT is basically at a standstill as we attempt to understand what has happened,” Johnson said.” I’m sure many of the students who used to attend the weekly meetings of IMPACT are wondering what has happened to the organization that means so much to them.”