Here’s the update on Vice Speaker Brian Wood’s (COL ’09) unexpected decision to resign from GUSA that we reported on last week:
Wood graduated from the College early, in December. In an email to the Senate on Friday, he wrote that when he ran for the position he “[intended] to serve for the entire year.” (Q: why would you want to be on GUSA after you graduate? A: apparently Wood is still working and volunteering in the area … and must really have a thing for student government.)
He even looked through the GUSA by-laws, bless his heart, and talked to Director of Student Programs Erika Cohen-Derr. At the time, she gave him the go-ahead to serve for the entire year.
Wood says that was a misunderstanding. He and Cohen-Derr sparred over the issue early last week. “I presented her my arguments for why I should be allowed to continue to serve,” he wrote in the email. He said Cohen-Derr linked her change of heart to the University’s access to benefits policy, and he provided the relevant section in the email:
“A group must have a minimum of 12 currently enrolled full-time undergraduate student members in order to be considered eligible for benefits. In order to preserve opportunities for undergraduate students to gain leadership experience, other individuals within the University academic community may participate in a group’s activities or programs but may not be members or otherwise attempt to direct, lead or inappropriately influence the group’s activities.”
The rule of twelve doesn’t seem to have any bearing in this situation, but it seems Derr felt that if Wood had kept his position, he could have cost GUSA its allowance.
Wood switched to pep-talk mode in his last words to the Senate, channeling a certain POTUS—he said he hoped GUSA would press on in its “hard work to accomplish positive change on campus.” Spoken like a true Senator, Brian.