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Romeo resigns from VPSA position

Photo by John Brady
Photo by John Brady
Photo by John Brady

Eva Lilienfeld, News Editor

Dixon Romeo ’16 announced that he will be “fading away like Kobe” from his role as Vice President of Student Affairs for SGA effective immediately through an all campus email on Sunday, Feb. 7.

Though Romeo originally announced his resignation to the SGA cabinet last week, his official resignation  was not sent out until Monday partially to allow the SGA to follow constitutional protocol in finding his replacement.

“We felt like the student body had to know,” said Administrative Coordinator Misha Rindisbacher ’16. “The longer we waited, the more unfair it seemed, so I think we struck a good balance between being pragmatic and also informing the student body.”

The SGA constitution dictates that if a member of the executive board resigns, a new representative must be elected through a special election within one week.  The constitution also gives an opportunity to override this rule by using the Elastic Clause.

“[The clause] essentially states that with four-fifths approval of campus council we can bypass any law or bylaw within the constitution only for a given semester,” SGA President Dan Davis ’16 said. “Unfortunately, this puts us in a weird place as the senators are not [yet] hired, so we cannot take a campus council vote etc. etc.”

The SGA cabinet will propose a vote during the emergency campus council meeting with the Senators on Friday, Feb. 12 to employ Elastic Clause and postpone the election of a new VPSA. If the proposition is not approved by four-fifths of campus council with fewer than three abstentions, the cabinet will hold a special election for a VPSA before Sunday, Feb. 14.

According to Rindisbacher, this is the first time in several years that SGA has called for an emergency council.

“We have a recorded low voter turnout, and I would worry that even less people would vote for this,” said Kate Strain ’16, Election Board Chair who would be responsible for much of the administrative work in having a special election. “It would be really nice to just have it all clumped together so that we could have the students body’s preferences reflected as opposed to just the few people

who vote.”

If the proposal is passed, the VPSA’s responsibilities will be distributed among the SGA cabinet members until the VPSA for the 2016-2017 school year is chosen with the other executive seats

“Even though [the 2016 – 2017 VPSA] will have full responsibility of VPSA, we think it would be best to have someone that has more institutional memory within the role of these committees to help guide them if they ask for the help,” Davis said. “We will not force our opinion on them in any way.”

Though Romeo would not be able to assist in training the VPSA-elect in an official capacity because he is not officially on SGA, the VPSA-elect would be able to meet with Romeo regarding his role as VPSA for 2015-2016.

If the proposition is not passed at the campus council meeting and the VPSA is elected this weekend, the executive elections to determine next years SGA President, VPSA and Vice President of Academic Affairs will still be held at the same time.

“[If the proposal does not pass] Sunday at midnight we will know who the VPSA is for the rest of the semester,” Davis said, “so that will give us an acting VPSA for the rest of the semester … Two weeks later, we will have the VPSA elect elected into their position who will then be training for the rest of the semester and will then be working as VPSA for the entirety of the next year.”

According to an unnamed SGA member, some students have already requested Senators vote against the proposition to allow for current students to run for VPSA for the remainder of the school year.

Rindisbacher anticipates many questions and arguments at the Campus Council.

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