By Gina Vaile & Jamie Vinson/Editors
Student Government President Lucas Hammons took office in what was called one of the most complex elections ever. Tuesday, only nine months after taking the oath, Hammons quietly stepped down with words read from a letter of resignation at the first meeting of the spring semester.
Matt Schumacher, SGA chief-of-staff, read the letter at the start of Tuesday’s meeting to the members of the organization. Hammons was not present.
“I feel that I am at a time in my life when I need to thoroughly focus on my future, class studies and law school,” Hammons wrote.
As a formality stated in the SGA Bylaws, the group accepted the resignation by a vocal vote with few noted abstentions.
After a report from University President Joanne Glasser, Mary Hall, SGA vice president, was sworn in to the office of the president.
In her first address to the senate as president, Hall said she was honored and privileged to take over the position. “We have a promising 16 weeks ahead of us,” she said.
Under the new Shared Governance, the updated SGA Constitution requires the vice president of the Student Activities Council to step into office as vice president of the SGA. Aaron Raider, the SAC vice president also took his oath during the meeting.
With Raider stepping up, another spot is left vacant: the vice president for SAC. The position underneath the vice president for SAC is the vice chair of the SAC, a position that has been vacant since the committee was formed last spring.
In her first executive action, Hall appointed Brandon Bisig as the SAC vice president. She cited his dedication to the council and expertise with money as reasons for her appointment.
Again, the members of SGA vocally voted Bisig to the position, which left one final spot vacant — office of treasurer, which Bisig held. Hall told the members that Shumacher, who serves as chief-of-staff, would also fill in as interim treasurer for the group, a position he has held in the past. SGA reacts
In his report to the body, Committee on Committees Chair Daniel Logsdon reported that while it was hard to say a “whole lot of good for the situation,” that it (Hammons’ resignation) was a decision that Logsdon supported.
Joking about a statement he made several times last semester, Logsdon said during the report, “(We’re) still talking about yesterday and haven’t done anything today.” However, Logsdon has hopes that this semester that will all change.
After the SGA meeting, Shumacher told The Progress that while Hammons’ resignation was a surprise of sorts, it also was not.
“He couldn’t put the time towards SGA. He was not around as much,” Shumacher said, citing an illness and family member who was sick as reasons why Hammons wasn’t around the office.
“But we’re looking forward to a great semester and we are ready to roll and keep the train truckin’ forward,” Shumacher said.
Aaron Thompson, acting associate vice president for enrollment management, who also serves as a faculty adviser to the group, said that, “Lucas did the honorable thing. He recognized things he needed to put attention towards … SGA had to take the back seat.”
Thompson went on to say that it was a positive move for SGA.
After the meeting, the newly sworn in officers were available to help senators with the new transitions and make sure committees were ready to begin the jobs for the semester.
In an interview with Progress editor Jamie Vinson, Hall said she is very confident that the student government will be successful in the spring semester.
“We have a lot of plans to ensure that shared government works,” she said.
“We always keep students best interest at hand and we are looking forward to elections,” she said.
Residence Life Council vice president Adam Hensley said that he couldn’t think of anyone better or more qualified for the position than Hall.
“She is a president we can rely on,” he said.