ASUC VP Resigns Position

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A month-long drive to oust an ASUC executive and replace her with her chief of staff culminated last night when ASUC Academic Affairs Vice President Jen Chang resigned her position before the ASUC Senate.

With a glimmer in her eye and a drained countenance, Chang thanked the ASUC for allowing her to serve and read a speech that cited her disapproval of internal politics and the senate's need to move on to other issues more relevant to students.

"Just because I'm not going to be an officer in the ASUC anymore, it doesn't mean I have to stop serving students," Chang said after her resignation. "I am proud of all that I have accomplished in the past three years, and there are more accomplishments to come."

Chang's resignation led some senators to breathe a sigh of relief at avoiding a costly recall election.

"I am pleased she resigned instead of having students spend $10,000 on a new election," said Cal-SERVE Senator Evora Griffith.

Some senators said they were left dissatisfied by parts of Chang's speech.

"I think Jen's excuse of being above politics as being the reason for her resignation is false," said Cal-SERVE Senator Catherine Ahn. "The group of people that pushed for her resignation was not just one party, but a coalition of parties."

Immediately following Chang's resignation, APPLE Senator Brian Bergman read a letter signed by representatives of three parties, advocating the installation of Chang's chief of staff Meredith Packer as the new vice president.

But the sudden support for Packer left some students questioning whether a backroom deal was responsible for the evening's excitement.

"Like it says in our letter, there is no deal," said Squelch! Senator Richard Schulman, an author of the letter. "We feel that appointing Meredith Packer the new AVP would create the least turbulent transition possible."

APPLE Senator Erwin Tam, a cosigner of the letter, shared Schulman's sentiments, but suggested that Chang's resignation was somehow contingent on support of Packer as her possible replacement.

A former senator said he was alarmed by the support directed at Packer before a selection committee had even been formed.

"As a student and a former senator, I find it extremely disheartening that senators would bias themselves toward a candidate before the process has even begun," former senator Todd Dipaola said. "I'm not saying that Meredith will not be the best candidate. I just want the process to be open and fair."

Packer, who was at times a subject of debate, said she will be putting her energy into holding the office together until a new vice president is appointed.

"I think it is said that it had to be resolved this way," Packer said. "My focus today is on regrouping and making sure the academic affairs office is serving students to the best of its ability."

Packer said she is flattered by her support in the senate.

"It is nice to know that people have confidence in what I've done with the office," she said. "I hope that I can continue to fulfill their expectations within the sphere of academic affairs."

The senate formed a temporary committee to select a new vice president within three weeks. The committee will be composed of senators Evora Griffith, Kenny Kamrin, Richard Schulman, Joanne Liu, Tel Cary-Sadler, Pav Singh and Josh Fryday.


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