Student Government lost two high-ranking officials Wednesday.
Both SG senate President Pro Tempore James Culp and Director of the Election Rules Commission Director Andrew Kirkland said they are leaving SG.
Culp, who has been a senator for slightly less than two years, said that he turned in his letter of resignation mostly because of a job offer to work with the Hillsborough County Republican Party that he couldn’t refuse – but he also said he is fed up with SG.
“I’m tired of dealing with the bull—- of Student Government. I found myself going to bed and waking up pissed off all the time,” Culp said. “Why am I going to waste my time with an organization that is destined to fail?”
He said one of his pet peeves was dealing with senators who were in senate more for a line on a resume than for the purpose of accomplishing initiatives.
He said that it was obvious to him that many senators did not read legislation prior to voting on it and would often waste time repeatedly asking the same questions at senate meetings.
“They never know anything, and then they —– about it later,” Culp said.
SG adviser Jan Brack had a different view on senators, saying that the lengthy debates that have become commonplace at senate meetings showed they are indeed passionate about their positions.
“Our senators are fighting. They’re fighting tooth and nail for what they believe in,” Brack said. “That to me shows that they’re not just there for their resumes.”
Brack added that Culp’s frustrations with SG and the senate are to be expected.
“It’s frustrating because it’s kind of a place where things are supposed to be frustrating, because you’ve got a lot of different opinions coming in and trying to make their own direction happen,” Brack said. “It’s sort of the nature of the beast.”
Regardless, Culp said that he thinks things have been getting worse as of late, and his resignation has taken a burden off of his shoulders.
“Student Government used to be fun, but now it’s just one pain after another,” Culp said. “I haven’t felt this good in a while.”
Brack said that this time of year is always the most difficult time for SG, as student body elections are ongoing and student organizations are submitting budgets to the senate. She added that the organizations are always unhappy with the amount of money they receive.
“I don’t think Student Government is falling apart,” Brack said. “I don’t think Student Government is going to fail.”
Senate Rules Committee Chair Devin Lee will act as senate president pro tempore until the senate meets again Tuesday and elects a new person to the position.
Culp’s resignation comes less than a month after he replaced former senator Jeremiah Pederson, who resigned to take a job at a consulting firm.
Kirkland, who has been overseeing this year’s student body elections, cited “personal reasons” and the need to focus on academics as his reasons for resigning.
The ERC, which he headed prior to resigning, governs student body elections and is in charge of certifying candidates, promoting the election and assessing points to candidates for violating campaign rules.
His resignation, which took effect this morning, comes just after the completion of the first round of voting in the student body presidential elections, which will be completed in a runoff next Tuesday and Wednesday.
He has come under fire because some students and candidates have lodged complaints about the ERC under his leadership. There was even a pending request for the senate to look into impeachment.
Kirkland said that his choice to resign had nothing to do with either of those things.
“I had to resign because of academic reasons – as well as personal reasons. It has nothing to do with the ERC as a whole,” he said.
ERC Deputy Supervisor of Elections Cindy Lorenzo will take over the ERC for Kirkland through the runoffs.
“We’re just going to run it nice and fair, the way we’ve been running it,” Lorenzo said.