Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 9
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Brian Choe Steps Down as Vice President

Illustration by MaryAnne Bowen.
Illustration by MaryAnne Bowen.

Senior Brian Choe stepped down from his ASWC vice president position at the end of last year, creating a vacancy on the ASWC Executive Council that needed to be filled before the school year started. In a typical situation like this, the position would go to the runner-up in the elections held last April, but Choe’s case presented a unique problem because he ran unopposed. Junior ASWC President Tim Reed and Junior ASWC Oversight Chair Audrey Vaughan consulted the ASWC by-laws and constitution, and have since appointed sophomore Jack Percival as interim vice president.

Because Reed and Vaughan couldn’t simply look to the runner-up to fill the vice president’s seat, and having no prior precedent for a situation like this, they examined the constitution carefully to decide how they should proceed. First they went to the ASWC by-laws, which stated that for an interim as well as the official replacement, the Executive Council has the power to choose from the current senators. The constitution, however, which overrules the by-laws, declared that the appointment of the official vice president would fall to the senators, and that they would have to choose from among one another. Elections will not be open to the entire campus for the vacant vice president position.

“Because the constitution supersedes the by-laws, when it comes to the permanent replacement, we have to follow the constitution,” said Vaughan.

After it was determined how to proceed, Vaughan contacted all of the members of the ASWC Executive Council, which includes the president, finance Chair, nominations committee and clubs director, among others, and asked them each to nominate an interim vice president. The results came back, and Percival was unanimously decided to serve as the interim. Percival was formally a sophomore senator, as well as the student affairs committee chair. 

“Jack was a senator last year, so he definitely has knowledge of ASWC, and he’s definitely got expertise in writing resolutions and acts. We’re very excited to have him,” said Reed.

The interim period will last until Oct. 6, when the first senate meeting will take place. Then, the senators must choose from among one another to decide who will be the official vice president. Early indications point to Percival retaining the position.

“I’m just the interim, and I have to be confirmed by the senate to be the official vice president. If they choose to confirm me, there will be a vacancy in the sophomore senate. And if they don’t choose to confirm me, and they choose to confirm someone else, they have to pick from among the senators,” said Percival.

Reed and Vaughan said that while there were a few minor bumps in the process of figuring out how to deal with Choe’s resignation, the overall process went fairly smoothly. The fact that it happened over the summer proved to be both positive and negative for the new nomination.

“It’s always harder to do things over email, but at the same time there was nothing really going on that we really needed a vice president. So it worked out really well,” said Vaughan.

Now with a full Executive Council, and the path toward a new official vice president set, ASWC can begin to look toward their objectives for the year. Reed expressed his excitement about having a full council once again, and toward their goals for the new semester.

“It’s going to be really a great experience at the beginning of this year, to figure out what people are really interested in pursuing across the board, including senators and [Executive Council] members. And kind of putting everyone together and figuring out what those objectives really are,” said Reed.

Percival also was ready to fill his role as interim vice president, and possibly official vice president in the future.

“I’m really excited to be filling this position, and I hope that I am selected to be the official vice president, and I definitely want to put a lot of work into it,” said Percival. “I think I would like to clearly articulate the role of ASWC.”

 

 

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