By Jesse Bade and Maggie Urban-WaalaStaff Writers
SGA found themselves in a state of shock when yet another member of the organization resigned unexpectedly. However this time the impact was much greater because it was President Tevon Hyman who stepped down from his position.
“I need to secure my future and make sure my future is clear, which means that I need to take a step back,” said Hyman. “This means that I will be resigning as president of Student Government Association, to ensure that my future is secure. Make no mistake this is not a goodbye, more a pause…I do plan to come back to finish what I have started.”
Following Hyman’s resignation, SGA struggled to decide how to elect another president, as Vice President Ron Singh declined the post initially.
“I thought we needed stability internally, and me staying as chair of the senate committee would provide internal stability and that would serve as a template for external moves,” stated Singh in his response to his initial declination of the post.
According to SGA law, when the vice president declines the post, and if the senate decides not to elect a president immediately, the rules chair will serve as temporary president.
Sarah Sicard, rules chair pro-tempore, stepped up to accept the position of temporary president.
However, following a short recess, Sicard reconsidered her decision and found that she did not feel comfortable performing the duties necessary as president.
“I accepted the presidency out of a strange sense of duty. I’ve been on SGA for a long time… It was like I felt obligated to an extent because I care about the organization and the students we represent,” said Sicard.
Sicard not only declined the presidency after briefly accepting it, but also resigned from her position as Rules Chair pro-tempore and as a senator.
“At a certain point it becomes too difficult to justify staying with a group that has changed so much and altered its purpose so much,” said Sicard. However, just as Hyman does not plan to abandon the organization completely, Sicard intends to remain a part of SGA and serve the student body in any way she can.
“It was always about student advocating, and whether or not I am a part of SGA, I will or would still like to play a role in advocating for students,” said Sicard.
After Sicard’s resignation, Ron Singh accepted the position of SGA president while the senators voted to delay elections for a replacement vice president until today, Nov. 8.
With Sicard’s resignation, the position of Rules Chair was vacated for the second time in one month. The previous Rules Chair, Ben Schaefer, also resigned publicly during a Thursday meeting; currently, the pro-temp Chair has been filled by Devon Brosnan, a freshman.
At this point in the meeting, Singh understood that SGA needed to unify behind someone and move on to the issues that they are ultimately responsible for addressing.
In response to the four cabinet resignations occurring over the past few weeks, Singh stated: “There’s an opportunity every second for you to quit, but there is also something greater on the other side if you don’t. If you leave then your complaints are just noise in the background. If you stick around, that noise becomes something productive.”
Singh went on to say that there is always room for improvement and that this was a low moment for SGA. They veered from their path a bit with these resignations, but Singh says they are back and will be stronger than ever.
He motivated members of SGA to stick around through this low moment by emphasizing the fact that things would get better.
Singh stated “In the future, when you look back and ask when the turnaround [for SGA] happened, you will look at the last few weeks”.
On the matter of SGA’s future under Singh’s leadership, he stated “I want a continuation of Tevon’s vision with respect to the student body and what they elected”.
Singh went on to express his belief that the organization can move forward from this and that these resignations were a call to everyone within SGA to step up and serve.
Members in SGA agree that the organization has a brighter future ahead. Billy Finnegan, Public Relations Chair, expressed his sadness at Hyman’s decision but also expressed hope for Singh’s abilities to fill the president’s duties.
“It was tough, I have been on SGA with Tevon since my freshman year,” Finnegan said. “It’s been over two years. Seeing one of the few people who have served consecutively as I have go was a bit heart wrenching; being that it was our president, it was even more heart wrenching. It was just something that he didn’t even really want to leave. His reasons for going were completely personal.”
Finnegan, who has served together with Singh on the Public Relations Committee as Singh’s Chairperson, emphasised
“He had this opportunity presented to him, and he just ultimately realized that maybe it was time for him to step up. And the opportunity presented itself. I think he will be an amazing president... I know that he gives his all in whatever he does and I think that the executive office will be perfect for him,” Finnegan said.