If Student Association senators plan to help students in the future, they should understand that resigning from their positions may not be the most effective way to do so because it leaves the SA unable function smoothly.
Both Senator Bethany Vanover and Deputy Senate Speaker Robert Kreml recently resigned from their positions after being elected for the upcoming semester. Speaker Christine Wang said she has no ill feelings toward the senators for resigning and gave them a week to make final decisions, but she understands that the SA Senate must move on.
“They were individual decisions,” Wang said. “Robert [Kreml], at least, made it very clear that it was not based on emotion. It’s unfortunate that they turned in their resignations, but I do respect their decisions. They have been, in the past, very strong senators, and I am sad to see them go. It’s their decision, and I respect that.”
It looks bad on the part of senators who resign when there are problems within the organization. In her resignation letter, Vanover spoke on wanting to continue to represent the student body at NIU and “making things better” for students, but stepping down from her position counteracts those goals. It may be hard for students to have faith in someone attempting to help the student body if they left the position that gave them such a great opportunity to do so. Vanover said she didn’t feel the SA was representing students, but she should’ve stayed on to make sure it does.
The SA Senate was forced to make changes to its constitution last week after the resignations left them with less than 20 senators for the next session. The senate needs at least 20 senator seats filled in order to function properly. However, there are 40 seats in total available; the fact the SA only had 20 seats filled, which is the bare minimum, should be a clear sign to students and current senators that participation and commitment are needed.
“Quorum states that there has to be 20 of the seats available,” Wang said. “There is a stipulation that states that we have to have half of all of the seats filled. Last week we passed a temporary bill to allow this current senate session to appoint senators for the next session at large… I do know there was some interest in that, actually quite a bit of interest…I do hope there will be at least two or three.”
Vanover said she didn’t feel the SA or the SA Senate was capable of helping NIU students solve their issues. It would be in the best interest of senators to work internally to hash out the issues they have had with the SA Senate rather than walking out when things go wrong. It puts the organization in even worse shape than it previously was when it has to alter its constitution in order to function and must change its bylaws just to do so.