The top staffer in student government’s executive branch resigned and a senior cabinet member left for a position with the University’s athletic department in vice president Garin Flowers’ first day as acting head of the
The resignation of Deputy Chief of Staff David Brickhouse and the move of Director of Student Life and Development Megan Latchford to athletics provided a taste of the reorganization ahead for an executive branch thrown into disarray as internal tensions built to a crescendo in the weeks before former president Harless’ resignation Friday.
Flowers, who will be sworn in as president at Tuesday’s Senate meeting, must also appoint a new vice president in addition to filling the new positions vacated today.
It is possible that a position within SG’s executive branch will be eliminated soon, Flowers said after a cabinet meeting Tuesday.
“It’s going to take some time, but everyone showed today that they’re dedicated to making those changes,” said Flowers. “And they will be made as expediently as possible.”
Flowers also decided against signing three Cabinet members’ termination orders drawn up in the last gasps of the Harless administration.
Harless announced his resignation Friday, saying he wanted to save SG continued embarrassment from the University’s investigation into a June 14 orientation event when Harless was found with alcohol in his office.
Hours before Harless announced his resignation, Brickhouse and Deputy Chief of Staff Alecia Peacock made an attempt to fire director of special projects Natasha Bui, athletic affairs coordinator Gregory Morgan and director of student life and development Megan Latchford.
Brickhouse and Peacock called the three to tell them they were fired and drew up termination orders that cited a lack of teamwork and other cryptic justifications unrelated to work performance.
But the orders never received a signature or came across the desk of SG advisor and business manager David Armstrong, so the three were never effectively fired.
Since Bui, Latchford and Morgan planned to appeal their firings, Flowers’ decision against signing the termination orders likely saved SG from a public and potentially embarrassing review by a Senate appeals committee.
“The firings were unjustified,” said Justin Hall. “We were glad to have them back, and I think I speak the rest of the Cabinet when I say that.”
Bui and Morgan said they plan to continue with their work for Student Government, but Latchford said she will take a position assisting senior associate athletic director Bill McGillis.
“I had been in conversations about the opportunity and I was struggling with what to do,” said Latchford. “At this point it seemed like the best option.”
Though Harless has announced his resignation, Armstrong and senate president Nathan Davison said they have yet to receive written notification.
Harless said he sent out a resignation letter over Student Government’s e-mail server last night, and a glitch in the system prevented delivery of the message. He plans to send the letter again tonight from his student account, he said.
“I think everyone’s on the same page,” Armstrong said. “It would just be nice to have that piece of paper.”
David Guidi can be reached at (813) 974-1888 or oracleguidi