Nearly a dozen students resign from SGA. It’s ‘normal’ during this time of year, VP of public relations says

Chatwan Mongkol, Digital News Editor

After a string of resignations last semester, 10 Student Government Association representatives have left their posts since the end of the fall 2021 semester.

“While (the) rationale for each one is confidential, reasons largely included internships, graduating, and pursuing other leadership opportunities, which typically is normal for SGA for this time of year,” said Jennifer McCue, vice president for public relations.

Below are the people who resigned: 

Illustration by Connor Lawless
  • Jack Weitsen, multicultural & identity senator
  • Sydney Nelson, health, wellness & accessibility senator
  • Jay Toland, non-senator justice
  • Aidan Truckenbrod, first-year vice president
  • Morgan Bloom, sophomore senator
  • Jonathan Caradonna, sophomore senator
  • Robert Lomino, junior senator
  • Sarah Dusse, junior senator
  • Yasmine Dubuisson, senior senator
  • Hannah Hansen, senior senator

Nelson, a sophomore who has been with SGA since the fall of her first year, said she resigned because she got a new off-campus job, so she doesn’t have enough time for both.

“I picked the job over SGA,” Nelson said. “I don’t know about the other people, I know one person I know who resigned has an internship this semester.”

Bloom and Weitsen both also resigned because of new internships, which they said conflicted with the mandatory SGA general board meeting on Wednesdays.

“I hope to see my successor listen to everyone’s concerns and do what they think is best for the community,” Weitsen said. “I think anyone who is elected into that position will do exactly that. I have full support for my successor, and I know that they will thrive in the role.”

Toland left his non-senator justice position because he graduated in December. General board members elected First-year Senator Sean Formantes to fill a senator justice position last Wednesday.

Dusse declined to comment. Dubuisson couldn’t be reached. Caradonna transferred to a different university. Hansen, Lomino and Truckenbrod didn’t respond to comment requests about their resignations.

Sophia Marshall, SGA 2020-21 president and 2019-20 vice president, echoed McCue that the resignations that took place this year were because some students graduated and some chose to pursue opportunities outside of SGA.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with SGA itself,” Marshall said. “It’s typical for people to drop for those reasons.”

She confirmed similar resignations also happened during her presidency.

“I think people forget that SGA is a student organization at a University,” Marshall said. “School and work will always be a priority and the organization wants its members to be successful.”

General board members elected in the spring general elections are expected to serve terms of one year, according to the SGA constitution. The organization oversees the budgeting process for student organizations and serves as a liaison between the student body and the university administration.

The wave of resignations came after multiple executive board members and specialized senators resigned last semester. 

Former M&I Senator Gabriella Colello resigned in August citing a “perverse power dynamic,” as all of the executive board members during the time were white men, and each received a tuition scholarship for their role. She also said she couldn’t justify working “another uncompensated equity role on campus.”

Former Vice President for Public Relations Carmine Grippo and former Vice President for Finance Cameron Davignon resigned in October and November, respectively. Grippo resigned to pursue other unspecified on-campus leadership opportunities. Davignon left his finance post due to academic and personal commitments.

Helen Tran, former commuter senator, resigned in December because she wanted to focus on her other projects. She also said being in SGA wasn’t the most effective way to represent commuters.

Vice President Chris Longchamp, election committee chair, said SGA intends to hold special elections to fill the vacant positions. He said the newly elected senators will be sworn in on Feb. 9, at the organization’s general board meeting.

Update 2/9/2022: SGA general board elected Rooster Smith as the new health, wellness & accessibility senator, and  Christopher Flick and Puneet Sidhu as new the new sophomore senators.