Senate leadership reshuffles after president resigns
With Wilson gone, Palmer takes over
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
Last spring, the student body elected Rob Wilson and running mate Dylan Palmer as president and vice president, respectively, of the student senate, narrowing out their opponents by 102 votes.
However, not long after the duo finished celebrating their victory, Wilson stepped down from his elected position.
“Due to personal reasons, Rob Wilson resigned from student body president,” said Palmer, who was appointed student body president at Sunday’s student senate meeting.
Wilson has since withdrawn from the university, according to members of the student body senate.
Wilson did not reply to an email asking him to comment on his departure.
“With a school of 15,000 students, life is inevitably going to be complicated,” Mark Rubinstein, vice president of student and academic services, said. “It is rare that these types of complications intersect with the student senate organization, but it does happen.”
In Rubinstein’s decade-long involvement with the organization, he said he cannot recall a similar situation arising.
“The senate constitution was prepared for the situation in which a leader cannot continue their assigned position, so although it has never happened before, we were prepared,” Rubinstein said.
The abrupt upheaval left former vice president Dylan Palmer in charge, filling Wilson’s emptied position. The transition left the vice president seat unoccupied for the first weeks of the semester, until the first student senate meeting was held.
During the meeting, senators elected Alex Eicher to the vice president position. Eicher ran for the vice president seat during the spring election, but was narrowly defeated by Wilson and Palmer.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Alex is well-suited for the position,” Palmer said prior to the senate’s vote. “She has served on the student body senate since her freshman year and ran for the vice president position on the opposing side this spring. She has the experience and desire to fulfill the demands of the position.”
Although Wilson’s abrupt departure caused momentary disorganization, the senate was able to iron out the logistics and remain on schedule at Sunday’s meeting, approving council chairs to their positions.
With their solidified positions intact, Palmer and Eicher are looking forward to a year full of hard work that they hope will fuse a gap between the student body, the administration and the local community.
Gateway 20/20 is a project that Palmer hopes will narrow the wedge between the student body and the community. The idea, which is in its infant stages, is an endowment program geared toward Peter T. Paul business students that will pool scholarship money from local and corporate organizations.
Through the project, businesses will gain exposure from the scholarship funds, while students can build connections with corporations in their field of study.
If the plan works, Palmer hopes the template can be used at universities around the country.
“All of the projects that we tackle, large and small, are geared toward the student body and improving life of our peers,” Eicher said.
Both Palmer and Eicher said that they are excited to work with each other, fusing the strengths of their campaign platforms to continue working to improve student life.
The duo also commented that one of their main goals this academic semester is to increase transparency between the student body and the senate.
“Too frequently the student body is not informed about what is going on in the senate office,” Eicher said. “And we want people to know what is going on in our organization.”