Towne Meeting addresses President’s absence

As alumnae/i gather on campus this weekend, we are reminded of the time-honored traditions that make New College New College: the memories alums will talk about when they see old friends for the first time in years. One respected ritual took place earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Feb. 13, students gathered at the Nook for the New College Student Alliance (NCSA) February Towne Meeting. The agenda was relatively short and sweet. Vice President of Green Affairs (VPGA), third-year Iyanu Corniel, presented legislation to establish the Council of Green Affairs (CGA) as an independent body from the Council on Student Life (CSL). Third-year Erika Thompson was confirmed as Executive Secretary, two members from the Students Allocations Committee (SAC) discussed recent allocations over $500, a newly instituted soft cap on allocations for Walls was proposed and Supervisor of Elections and third-year Eleni Spanolios described the NCSA Presidential Succession.

Last spring, third-years Kayla Kisseadoo and Ximena Pedroza were elected as the 2017-18 NCSA presidents. Prior to the Fall 2017 semester, Co-president Kisseadoo left the position.

Kisseadoo’s resignation would be the first of several, including the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion (VPDI), the Vice President of Student Life (VPSL), the Executive Secretary and, on Monday, Feb. 12, the president.

We have had several people resign this year, but it was always a personal decision supported by the cabinet. We’re students and friends first, and serving on the Executive Cabinet is an exhausting job, and I respect the members of my team who decided to resign so much, because I know it was a terribly difficult decision,” Chief of Staff and third-year Katie Thurson said in an email interview. “They chose to do what was best for themselves and what was best for the team and I could never ask for anything different.”

According to the Great Book, in the event that the presidency becomes vacant, the Speaker of the Towne Meeting would become Acting president, followed by the Chair of the SAC, Chief of Staff, and all the way down to Chief Justice of the Student Court.

Speaker of the Towne Meeting, third-year Paola Baez-Perez, deferred from taking the position. Next in line was SAC Chair, second-year Ormond Derrick, who accepted the position of Acting president.

The Acting president has all the powers of a president and is tasked with ensuring the completion of a Special Election as soon as possible, to fill the vacancy.

The petitioning period for the Special Elections began Wednesday, Feb. 14, and ended on Sunday, Feb. 18. The election will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 20, to elect a new president. The position for Educational Policy Committee Representative is also open.

As this was the last item on the agenda and there were no further questions, the meeting was adjourned. By Wednesday, there would be a new student body president.

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