Thursday, September 21

ASB Vice President steps down: SGA Executive Council votes to forego special election for student body and let SGA vote on replacement 

By Brooklyn Dance

ASB Vice President Luis Ortiz Hernandez stepped down on Monday, Oct. 29 and the  SGA executive council is in the process of appointing an interim to the position.

Ortiz Hernandez said Trevecca administration asked him to step down after he failed to comply with university policies.

“The main factor was my non-compliance with university policies. I took a wrong decision that did not put me or anyone else in danger, but it was against Trevecca’s rules. I am fully aware of my mistake and take full responsibility on my actions,” Ortiz Hernandez said. “I was encouraged to step-down on my own terms by the administration, but it was an immediate dismissal from the student government.”

During his tenure as vice president Ortiz Hernandez said he worked to increase the transparency of the student government, especially related to the organization’s finances.

He also thanked the administration and members of the SGA executive council for their “respect and encouragement throughout the process.”

Ivan Palomares, ASB president, said the executive council plans to appoint an interim vice president at Monday’s SGA meeting.  That person will serve for three weeks until the full SGA can vote on a permanent replacement.
The ASB Constitution calls for a special election by the student body if an officer position is vacated, unless it’s the second semester of the school year, but the executive council voted against the special election because of the timing.

Article V Section 10 part D of the ASB Constitution states: “In the event of a vacancy in an office of the SGA, the members of the SGA shall have the power of interim appointment until a special election shall be held (within three weeks after the vacancy occurs). The nominee elected to fill the vacancy shall take office immediately to serve the term. During the second semester, the SGA shall have the power to fill any vacancies in SGA, with the exception of the ASB President which must go to a special election of the ASB.”

Matt Spraker, associate dean of students for community life and SGA sponsor, said the executive council voted against the special election because the ending of the three-week interim period falls around Thanksgiving Break.

Spraker said based on past experience that voter turnout is low by that point in the semester.

“[The executive council] made a special exception to go with a second semester appointing procedure, but having general SGA represent the student body and voting, so it’s not just like executives or appointment, it would be all the class councils will represent their class and vote,” Spraker said.

The executive council met on Wednesday, Oct. 31 and compiled a list of candidates they thought would best fit the interim position.

The interim candidate will be announced to general SGA on Monday, Nov. 5. From there, SGA will work on informing the student body on the transition.

Palomares said SGA will be transparent throughout the changes.

“We will be transparent throughout the process as we have pertinent information,” Palomares said.

Students interested in fulfilling the position can email both Spraker and Palomares for more information, he said.

Ortiz Hernandez is thankful for his time in office, and looks forward to continue serving the community in other ways, he said.

“It was great to represent the student body and as painful as it feels to be stepping down I am still looking forward to the rest of the school year. I may not be serving as the ASB Vice-President anymore, but that won’t take away from the joy I get every time I am able to serve this community,” he said.


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