February 28, 2012

SG resignation has first-years running

A first-year SG representative has resigned his seat on College Council (CC), which will be filled by an SG vote later this week.

Representative llknur Aliyev declined to comment on his resignation. College Council chair and fourth-year Glynis Fagan said that Aliyev had stepped down from his position “for personal reasons that he does not wish to share.”

Following Aliyev’s resignation, Fagan sent out an e-mail to members of the Class of 2015 in the College to announce the newly available first-year representative position on the council.

SG President Youssef Kalad said that 18 students had shown interest in the position, and that each candidate would be given the opportunity to deliver a statement of no more than 30 seconds and then answer a series of questions at SG’s assembly meeting on Thursday. The CC will then select the new representative by a blind vote.

Fagan does not think the resignation will pose a problem to SG’s plans for the rest of the year.

“Our other first-year representatives this year are extremely enthusiastic, and I think we’ll take up the next representative into that enthusiasm,” she said.

One of Aliyev’s largest commitments on SG was to the Committee on Recognized Student Organizations (CORSO). Kalad said that Fagan would temporarily replace him on that committee, but that someone else would permanently fill the role. First-year representative Raymond Dong said that he and fellow first-year representative Yusef al-Jarani would continue a project related to disabilities that Aliyev had recently started.

Earlier this quarter, fourth-years Nakul Singh and Joe Sullivan gave up their respective seats as undergraduate liasion to the Board of Trustees and CC representative to take personal leaves of absence from the University. SG filled both positions by informing students of the vacancies and then having interested candidates make a statement before either the general assembly or CC, depending on the position. Third-year and CC Chair Travis Benaiges gave up his seat this quarter to study abroad; the current SG bylaws do not clearly lay out whether Singh, Sullivan, and Benaiges will be able to resume their positions when they return to the University.

“We are talking about how to handle these cases in a more specific manner,” Fagan said. On Thursday, SG will vote on an amendment to explicitly say whether students can run for a position if they intend to study abroad and whether they can return to their seat after taking a leave of absence.

This fall, 20 first-year students ran for College Council, tying the record high size of last year’s candidate pool. Kalad said that he hopes future candidates for SG will consider the commitment they are making to other students.

“When you run for SG, you are making a promise to your student body and its constituents that you’re willing to put their interests above your own,” he said. “You’re willing to sacrifice a lot of other things, and that’s something I want people to be keenly aware of when they run for SG.”