Yale Law student speaks out over controversy from his Constitution Day email
Campus Reform spoke with Trent Colbert, the Yale Law School student and Federalist Society member that received criticism for his edgy Constitution Day invitation.
Colbert said he is facing a potential impeachment effort as a result of the controversy.
Students at Yale Law School approved a section of their draft student government constitution to impeach a conservative representative.
On Oct. 21, Campus Reform reported that Trent Colbert sent an email inviting classmates to the school’s Federalist Society chapter's Constitution Day party.
Following the initial reporting, Colbert told Campus Reform that some student representatives “provisionally approved the section of a draft constitution that articulates impeachment procedure" as a result of campus-wide "pressure."
The invitation — written with an edgy and sardonic tone — used the term “trap house” and noted that Popeye’s chicken would be served.
Students, perceiving racial bias, began sharing the message with one another.
Yale Law School associate dean Ellen Cosgrove and diversity director Yaseen Eldik told Colbert, who is Cherokee by descent, that his association with the Federalist Society was "very triggering" for students who "already feel" that the conservative group is "oppressive to certain communities."
Though Yale does not intend to discipline Colbert, students also began circulating a message calling for his ouster — noting that he “refused to issue a formal and meaningful apology to our student body for deeply offensive speech that has particularly impacted classmates of color,” calling into question “his ability to serve as a neutral and trustworthy representative for students in our class.”
1/ THREAD. There is now a push to get Trent Colbert, the Yale Law School student who sent the “trap-house email,” removed as a 2L student representative.
Here’s the form letter the students who want him removed are circulating for signature. pic.twitter.com/fAcanfDR2J
— David Lat (@DavidLat) October 15, 2021
The section — shared with Campus Reform by Colbert — says that students may be “impeached for misappropriation of YLS Student Representative resources, malfeasance in office, regular unexcused absences, dereliction of duty, or other significant misconduct.”
"I’m not sure if there are many students involved or just a few who are putting in a lot of work, but I have seen a form letter distributed," Colbert told Campus Reform.
Three or more representatives can raise impeachment charges. After a hearing, students can be impeached by a unanimous vote of all student representatives, or a two-thirds vote of all representatives, followed by a majority vote from the member’s class-year constituency.
Colbert told Campus Reform that as far as he is aware, articles of impeachment have not yet been submitted against him.
Campus Reform reached out to Yale University for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.