SG chairwoman resigns

During its first meeting of the spring semester, Student Government (SG) Senate had two positions to fill.

Just a few days after Christopher Leddy’s resignation from his position as Supervisor of Elections, Samantha Toro, a junior majoring in economics, resigned from her positions as chairwoman of the Committee on Programming Audits and as the Activity and Service Recommendation Committee’s (ASRC) alternate senator, who fills in if a senator is absent from the ASRC committee meetings.

As chairwoman, Toro oversaw the programming audits committee, which received applications from different student organizations needing event funding. The committee chose how much funding to give each group based on a $25,000 pool of money, said SG adviser Gary Manka.

During the meeting, Toro said to the Senate that she was doing SG work when she was supposed to be in class, which she discovered was a reason for immediate dismissal after returning from winter break.

“Last semester, during the week of Nov. 15, I made a huge mistake and I was working in the office in the time I was supposed to be in class,” she said. “When I came back from break, I found out that was grounds for my immediate dismissal.”

Toro planned on running for the position at the Senate’s first meeting, but legal counsel told her if she were elected again, she would be terminated immediately.

“I had every intention of coming up here and re-running, and I was informed five minutes before the meeting that if … I was elected again, then I’d have to be immediately terminated,” she said.

Toro said she had detailed plans for the chair position and wants speak with incoming chairman,Jeff Gao about those plans.

Gao, who was vice chairman to the committee in 2010, won the position after a tie-breaking vote from Senate President Jennifer Belmont.

Belmont said she believed Gao had the best experience for the job.

“He’s been in Senate longer,” Belmont said. “He does have event planning experience, which is essential for that committee and running it, especially the audits, in order to understand where the student organizations are coming from.”

Gao, who was elected out of his original position as Sergeant at Arms, said he will listen to Toro’s advice.

“I’m going to get in contact with (Toro) and see what her plan was for this year, like a fully detailed plan, but I also have my own personal plans,” said Gao, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering. “I want to try to tweak it a little bit to make (our plans) merge together.”

He said he will manage the committee differently than Toro.

“We do have different ways of running committee,” he said. “Hers is a bit more open, I’m more a fan of straight to the point. No running in circles. No politics.”

Toro said she had detailed plans of what she wanted to accomplish this semester and hoped that whoever was elected would work with her and use her efforts.

“Sen. Gao was my vice chair this entire term, and I have complete confidence that he will do a great job,” she said.

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