Subatich not approved

By Mark McGowan

The Student Association withdrew its support of retaining its community affairs adviser by failing to muster the two-thirds vote necessary to keep him in office.

After more than an hour of discussion, the SA Sunday night did not approve former Community Affairs Adviser Brian Subatich, whose term expired Oct. 8.

Subatich was questioned about his role as a liaison to the DeKalb City Council. Fourth Ward Alderman Rita Tewksbury and 3rd Ward Alderman William Hanna said they were offended by Subatich’s calling Tewksbury “wicked” at the Oct. 9 city council meeting. Subatich has since apologized to the council.

Subatich received 19 votes, but he needed 30 (two-thirds of the 45-member senate) to retain his position. He left the meeting immediately after the secret ballot vote’s results were announced.

Questions were raised concerning Subatich’s ability to work with the council after his comments. “Those few words have killed some political careers,” said Sen. Jody Jancaric.

Sixth Ward Alderman Jamie Pennington said the comments were “inappropriate,” adding that the council now questions the credibility of the liaison.

Pennington said some aldermen will not work with the SA because of its reputation. Pennington said this was the case before Subatich’s comments were made.

“I’ve tried my best to get student aldermen to work together,” Subatich said. “And then a student alderman comes here and says my credibility is damaged.”

Subatich said Monday he was “disappointed” with the meeting’s results. “The senators only heard one story,” he said. “I don’t think they took everything into effect,” he said.

SA President Huda Scheidelman supported Subatich for approval. “Brian has received an ‘A’ grade in his job up until his comments,” she said. “His comments do not yield a grade ‘F’.”

Sen. Dave Ivers questioned Subatich’s understanding of the position and the difference between a liaison and a lobbyist. “I don’t think you’re fulfilling the job because you don’t know what it is,” he said to Subatich.

Subatich said he remained neutral during the alderman selection and appointment time, but disagreed with the process. Subatich said he felt the process was “just to make the (DeKalb) mayor (Greg Sparrow) look good” and saw no sign that Sparrow took heed of the SA’s recommendations.

“I don’t think Brian can repair what happened last week,” said Sen. Mark Harkness. “I can’t vote for him in good conscience.”

In defense of Subatich, Sen. Anat Tisch said Subatich was “provoked” by the city council. Allowing him to stay “would strengthen communications,” Tisch said.

Sen. Jennifer Novak was appointed acting chair to the community affairs committee through suspension of the bylaws regarding committee advisers.