The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Student Government parliamentarian resigns

Trebor Maitin ’24 wrote and passed three resolutions during his time on Student Government. (Photo by Kwasi Obeng-Dankwa ’23 for the Student Government of Lafayette College)

Trebor Maitin ‘24, Student Government’s first-ever parliamentarian, left his role on Oct. 5 following a disorderly general body meeting.  

“I had offered a number of amendments to make Student Government more accountable to itself and to the people,” Maitin said. “I don’t think the Student Government cared … I just felt completely burned out after that experience. I realized that despite my efforts, I couldn’t change this body.”

Maitin had served on Student Government since his sophomore year. He said that he was initially motivated to join by a communication void that he had noticed within the organization.

“The number one word that people threw around was transparency and it was something that I saw was lacking,” Maitin said. “I had an interest in making Student Government a bit more transparent with the people it serves.”

Due to his knowledge of the organization’s guiding documents from his time on the Constitution and Bylaws ad hoc committee, and his role in getting the position created, Maitin decided that serving as parliamentarian was a logical step in his Student Government career for his final year. 

According to the Student Government website, the parliamentarian serves to “enforce the observance of the Constitution and the Bylaws, oversee proposed changes to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Student Government and settle disputes related to the constitutionality of actions of the Student Government.”

“I believed I was the person who knew those documents the most,” Maitin said. “I wanted to keep Student Government on the straight and narrow. And that’s what I pledged to do and I believe that’s what I’ve done.”

“The way that Trebor did it, he’s kind of like the backbone of Student Government,” sophomore class representative Moira Humphrey ‘26 said. “He did a lot of constitutional work for us … and helped keep people in check. And he’s just really informed, so it’s nice to have that in the room.”

However, as Maitin progressed in his role, he found the position – and the individuals with whom he worked – increasingly frustrating as somebody who was deliberate about the processes.

“There remains a lack of care for process or for the rules,” Maitin said. “People would prefer to rush through votes because they want to move on with their day.”

“I think Trebor always butted heads with a lot of people in Student Government with his big personality,” junior class representative and co-chair of the elections committee Anna Fenkel ‘25 said.

Maitin noted that the general body’s motivation to understand Student Government’s policies and procedures dwindled over this past year, increasingly relying on Maitin to keep them constitutionally in line. Despite Maitin’s contributions, he felt like he was continually disrespected.

“I don’t know how many times you have to consider quitting something before you realize it’s not good for you,” Maitin remarked. “There have been so many nights where I come home from Student Government … where I feel like my perspective doesn’t matter.”

“I am going to miss Trebor,” Fenkel said. “I think he’s extremely thorough, and I respect him a lot. He knew everything. I viewed him as some sort of mentor, so I am actually very sad about it.”

Many of the changes that Maitin helped to institute during his time as a member of Student Government sought to restructure the organization in a more efficient and productive way. 

“During my tenure as PR and marketing director, the election turnout was massive,” Maitin said. “Forty-one percent of Lafayette students voted in the election and I’d like to think that was in large part because of my committee.”

According to Fenkel, Student Government has two weeks by which they have to fill the executive board vacancy. This timing lines up with the upcoming election cycle. On the intent to run form, individuals will have an option to run for parliamentarian for the current term, parliamentarian for the next term, or both. 

“We’re just lining up the two application processes,” Student Government President Olivia Puzio ‘25 said. “We just figured that that’d be easier for the student body.”

However, Maitin said that the two week rule was never voted on by the general body. He added that there was an amendment passed that said that a representative must be voted on to temporarily fulfill the duties of an executive officer vacancy until a new one is elected.

Fenkel said that Puzio is doing the job of parliamentarian currently. She was not voted on by Student Government.

“They’re lawless for two weeks,” Maitin said. “That’s insane.” 

Maitin was widely recognized as having put significant effort into the organization. He said that while he had hoped that he could continue, doing so would’ve been detrimental to his health.

“I think he’s definitely been one of the most passionate about Student Government,” Humphrey said. “I think he’s always got good ideas and it’s clear that he cares a lot about it. It’s sad to see him go, because I think he did a lot for us.”

“I’m disappointed, but I’m hopeful,” Maitin said. “I see a lot of potential in Student Government. I don’t have an ax to grind. I’m just someone who’s dedicated three years of my life to this organization and I’m disappointed with how it turned out.”

Managing Editor Trebor Maitin ’24 did not contribute writing or reporting.

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About the Contributor
Emma Chen
Emma Chen, Managing Editor
Emma has very strong opinions about crust, has never eaten a blueberry, and is a staunch hater of AP style.

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  • N

    NatalieOct 20, 2023 at 7:42 am

    Trebor was elected to fulfill his one-year term. He quits midway because ‘he was disrespected’.

    What’s up with that? Why does Student Government need to accommodate him, instead of the other way around?