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SGA President Naik apologizes to OU community

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Members of the OU community,

I made a mistake.

On Dec. 27, I was arrested in Norman for public intoxication. During winter break I was in Norman with some friends, had too much to drink and took an Uber home. I was dropped off at the house next to mine and, being in that state of mind, mistook it for my own. The police were called as I tried opening the door to what I took to be my house, I was taken to the hospital and then the Cleveland County jail, where I was released the next morning.

I want to apologize to the students at the University of Oklahoma.

I made an error in personal judgement for which I am still facing repercussions from Student Conduct, the Cleveland County legal system and in my personal life. Calling my parents afterwards was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Apologizing to my neighbors, telling my friends - these weren’t much easier. Those are the people closest to me, the ones who truly trust me, and I let them down.

That’s where it stops for many, but back in November, 1,273 students trusted me with being a representative of the students at the University of Oklahoma. I took the responsibility that comes with this office, and that includes holding myself to a higher personal standard. This is a new experience for me, a position where my private mistakes are public, but that’s no excuse.

I let you down. It won’t happen again.

It’s unfortunate that in a time when there is so much good happening at the university that I may have distracted from it. That front page belonged to OU Unheard, an absolutely incredible group of students who are working to make OU more inclusive and supportive. On a day when they showed that with hard work and collaboration students can make changes, they shared part of the front page with my mugshot. The dedication of OU Unheard, the brilliance of the speakers at TEDxOU, the effort of CAC Soonerthon raising over $40,000 for Children’s Hospital Foundation in one day, that’s OU — great students all over campus working together to do incredible things.

The Student Government Association will continue operating unaffected by my actions over winter break and will continue serving and representing the diverse student group at our university. Our departments have been hard at work from planning Higher Education Day and helping our students advocate for funding to working with OUIT and researching the best ways to implement the EngageOU platform. Our projects are still right on schedule and have not been impacted in any way. Our commitment to serving students remains as strong as ever as we head into this upcoming year.

Finally, I want to thank all those who have reached out to offer their support. This experience has reinvigorated in me a new appreciation for the whole concept of the OU community. The amount of support I’ve gotten from individual faculty, staff and students has been incredibly uplifting and has been a huge part of what has inspired me to move forward and continue serving in this position. It’s only strengthened my belief in the idea of the OU community — a family, if you will — and made me even more determined to do everything I can to make our campus better.

Kunal Naik

The University of Oklahoma

Student Government Association

President

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