Another one bites the dust – year three of SGA shakeups

It’s almost a routine at this point. It’s getting toward the end of the summer, and it’s time to reshuffle the Student Government Association (SGA) executive board.

George Gottschalk IV’s resignation from his position as executive vice president for student affairs marks the third time in as many years that a resignation has shaken SGA. Not exactly an inspirational track record.

Gottschalk cited financial and academic reasons for his resignation, saying the time commitment required by the organization will make it impossible for him to maintain his grades or a job. While grades and money are powerful motivators for any college student, they are hardly unexpected. What changed since Gottschalk ran for the position in April? Moreover, The News previously reported that Gottschalk did not apply for the newly established student leadership scholarship, which could have provided him with an additional $5,000 per semester for his time in the SGA office. Whatever his reasons, it hardly shows a steadfast commitment to the organization.

Almost as disturbing as this resignation, however, is the way the reelection has been handled. Elections were held last night to replace Gottschalk, just eight days after he announced his resignation. While we commend SGA’s wish to swiftly get the e-board back on track, rushing the process is not the answer. Without even a Senate meeting between Gottschalk’s resignation and last night’s election, there was hardly time for campaigning or even for potential candidates to make a thoughtful decision about whether to run. While we wish newly elected vice president Adriana Campos all the best, we find it a little alarming that the second most powerful position in student government was chosen by a tiny summer body of 27 senators.

We’ve said it before, and in light of recent events we’ll say it again: SGA claims it wants to involve the student body in direct elections come spring. If that’s really the case, the students need a reason to care. They need an organization they can respect, and they need to have honesty and openness in the process. A rushed insider election in August doesn’t bode well for an open and inclusive process come April.

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