The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Parliamentarian, general body resignations, expulsion add vacancies to Student Government

Executive board hopes to fill vacancies by March 5
Chris+Kirch+26+resigned+for+personal+reasons.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Student+Government%29
Chris Kirch ’26 resigned for “personal reasons.” (Photo courtesy of Student Government)

Student Government saw three resignations, including that of the elected parliamentarian, within 48 hours last week, in addition to an expulsion. These four new vacancies were on top of the existing hole in the role of inclusivity officer — a position that has been open since Jan. 1 – and two vacancies in the class of 2026 delegation that were filled yesterday.

The resignation of now-former parliamentarian Chris Kirch ‘26 went into effect yesterday. Kirch declined to comment on the circumstances of his resignation, which according to Student Government’s Feb. 6 vacancy report, was for “personal reasons.” He is the second consecutive parliamentarian to resign from the position following the Oct. 5 resignation of Trebor Maitin ‘24, the first to ever serve in the role.

Kirch won the uncontested election for parliamentarian in November on a platform of implementing ranked-choice voting in Student Government elections and opening up executive board positions to the entire student body.

Student Government approved a constitutional change that opened up the positions of inclusivity officer, communications officer and parliamentarian, but it has not yet been approved by the faculty or the Board of Trustees.

Thania Hernandez ‘25, the Student Government president, has taken on the responsibilities of the parliamentarian until the position can be filled in the interim —  a vote that, along with the interim inclusivity officer position, was on the agenda for the group’s Thursday night meeting. According to the bylaws, the interim candidates must be approved by a three-fourths vote of the general body.

According to Hernandez, the positions of parliamentarian and inclusivity officer — which already has two applicants — will both be open to the entire student body. The intent-to-run form for the parliamentarian position was opened yesterday, Feb. 8, and will close on Feb. 21. A campaigning period will then follow, ending with a school-wide election from Feb. 26 to March 4.

“Hopefully, we’ll have the newly-elected executive office by March 5,” Hernandez said.

The remaining vacancies are within the organization’s general body. Hasnat Aslam ‘27 resigned after leaving mid-meeting on Feb. 1 after just two general body meetings this term. He declined to comment on his resignation, but wrote in a message to the members of Student Government that he “did not foresee [himself] being able to commit the requisite amount of time required to make meaningful contributions.”

Kelsey Wong ‘25, who has been a part of Student Government since her freshman year, also resigned last week, citing other commitments.

“I already had a plan to resign last semester,” Wong said. “I wasn’t planning on reapplying, but I was just gonna reapply because of … loose ends that I wanted to at least see through before I [resigned].”

Wong, who previously served as chair of the student life committee, wanted to ensure that the future holder of the position would be properly informed about ongoing projects. After seeing who was running for the position, she decided it was not necessary for her to stay longer.

“It was a good experience,” Wong said. “I don’t regret it, and if given the choice, I would do it again.”

Wong is proudest of her committee’s work with the Bailey Health Center and Lafayette for Reproductive Autonomy, Justice and Empowerment.

Additionally, Leonora Rodriguez ‘25, another newly appointed representative, was terminated following a class conflict with general body meetings. Rodriguez also declined to comment.

Hernandez stated that Student Government applicants were informed during the interview process that they could not have a class on Thursday nights — the time of the group’s general body meetings — and remain on Student Government.

Until yesterday, there were additional vacancies within the class of 2026 delegation, one of which was open since the beginning of the term on Dec. 5. According to the vacancy report, “Student Government Executives [came] to the decision that the applications received were, unfortunately, not the right fit for the organization.”

The second position in the class of 2026 delegation was vacated on Jan. 2 after Galina Kraytsberg, a former representative, transferred schools over the interim.

Yesterday, Student Government announced the two vacant positions would be filled by Ava Gallia ‘26 and Alex Brown ‘26, chosen out of a pool of seven applications. Five of those applicants received interviews.

Hernandez said that the remaining executive board members have plans in place to limit future resignations.

“For the resignations that we did get, we got explanations, and it was mostly the time commitment that Student Government takes from students,” Hernandez said. “We want to make it clear how much time the job takes, and if you need help figuring it out, we’re here to help.”

Kate SantaMaria ’27 contributed reporting. 

Disclaimer: Managing editor Trebor Maitin ’24 did not contribute writing or reporting.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 2/9/24 with additional information regarding the number of applicants for the class of 2026 delegation. 

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About the Contributors
Selma O'Malley, News Editor
Waiting for someone to write a sitcom about a college newspaper.
Madeline Marriott, Editor-in-Chief
Maddie (she/her) is a senior English major with a Government & Law minor. As the Editor-in-Chief, a Mentor Writing Associate, a Senior Student Contributor for Lafayette Communications, a Communications Intern for the Office of Sustainability, co-founder and Vice President of English Club, and a Senior Interviewer for Lafayette Admissions, no writing happens on campus without her knowing about it. Her Google Calendar would make your head spin. She is a die-hard Swiftie and Phillies fan, a collector of tote bags, a builder of a Hay Day empire, and an avid Goodreads and Letterboxd user. She smokes cigars and uses an old-timey typewriter and notepad in the newsroom.

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