The Student Assembly (S.A.) met yesterday in a special executive session to elect a new vice president of finance to fill the position left by the resignation of Stuti Mandala ’04. Assembly members chose current LGBTQ liaison Erica Kagan ’05 to serve in the position.
“I’m really excited to have been elected and I’m really excited to work with the team that’s there,” said Kagan, “I think that we can end the year very strongly with the team that we have right now.”
“Erica Kagan is an extremely qualified individual and I am excited for her to join this year’s executive board,” said S.A. president Noah Doyle ’03. “In her two years on the student assembly she has a proven track of leadership and reaching out to Cornell’s undergraduate student body.”
The former vice president of finance Stuti Mandala resigned from the S.A. two weeks ago. She has given no comment on the reasons for her resignation.
“It was a pleasure working with Stuti Mandala this year and I look forward to finishing the year with vice president Kagan,” added Doyle ’03.
Prior to the executive session the S.A. held an open session to vote on a resolution, sponsored by Tim Lim ’06 and Funa Maduka ’04, which sought to allocate funds for a student trip to a Washington D.C. affirmative action rally.
Doyle supported passage of the resolution, stating, “I am proud of the partnership the Student Assembly has formed with the Office of Workforce Diversity, Equity and Life Quality and the work our assembly has done in reaching out to minority groups. The affirmative action lobbying trip will offer the Cornell community an opportunity to show their support for this cause. Representative Lim’s leadership in this resolution has provided a vehicle enabling all students to support affirmative action.”
While the resolution ultimately passed by a clear majority, there was a considerable amount of debate leading up to the vote.
The resolution called for a $3,000 loan from the Students Helping Students fund in addition to $500 which had already been raised from outside sources. Repayment of the loan would be drawn from next year’s S.A. budget, a move which drew criticism from some members.
“The S.A. is once again engaging in fiscally irresponsible spending,” said Josh Roth ’06.
The event’s overtly political tone was also a source of concern for some representatives, who cited the University’s unwillingness to provide funds for affirmative action events as a precedent which the S.A. should adhere to. Some representatives argued that the controversial nature of the rally disqualified it from being a suitable activity for S.A. financial support.
“I think it’s inappropriate that the S.A. funded this because it is an explicitly political event,” said Roth.
Other S.A. members contended that as elected representatives, they had the responsibility to fund events which they believed the majority of the student body would show support for.
“A lot of people are interested in this,” said Maduka, “I wish I could show you all the e-mails I have received from students who want to go on this trip.”
Archived article by Jeff Sickelco