Leaders of SAC Resign

By Molly Longstreth Hoya Staff Writer

Outgoing Student Activities Commission Chair Nicole Kay (SFS ’99) and Vice-Chair Holly Singh (SFS ’99) resigned Monday night in protest of the selection process for next year’s SAC chair.

Outgoing GUSA President John Glennon (COL ’99) has appointed former SAC Commissioner Jeff DeMartino (COL ’00) interim commissioner.

DeMartino is a former Editor In Chief and a current member of the Board of Directors of The Hoya.

SAC is responsible for approving the budgets of numerous student clubs and organizations including GUSA.

Singh said she and Kay resigned because of a dispute with incoming GUSA President Ron Palmese (MSB ’00) over the process for selecting next year’s SAC chair. Palmese, however, said Kay and Singh specifically objected to the potential appointment of Colin Newman (COL ’00) to the post.

“We had issues with the way the leadership of SAC was being chosen, and we felt we couldn’t endorse the selection process,” Singh said.

Kay did not return several phone calls.

The incoming SAC chair is traditionally chosen by the incoming GUSA executive and outgoing SAC chair and vice chair. “Nicole and I felt that he was definitely willing to listen, but it was made clear that the ultimate decision would be solely a GUSA decision, and we disagreed with this process,” Singh said.

Students must apply for the position of SAC chair before being appointed. Palmese interviewed this year’s applicants – Newman and Kashelia Brown (MSB ’00) – Thursday at a meeting where DeMartino and SAC Commissioner Adam Thompson (SFS ’01) were also present. He said he and incoming GUSA Vice President Denis Scott (MSB ’00) would make a decision this weekend after talking to DeMartino and Thompson.

Newman is a former Senior News Editor of The Hoya.

Both Brown and Newman have been SAC commissioners during the past year and both are qualified candidates, according to Palmese. He attributed Singh’s and Kay’s reservations to personal differences they had with Newman, but said he did not know the details of that situation.

“I cannot comment on personal differences but I certainly believe I’m a very qualified candidate for this position,” Newman said.

Palmese countered Singh’s and Kay’s objections about the decision-making process by saying that the authority to appoint the SAC chair constitutionally belongs to the incoming GUSA president. Earlier in the month, the SAC considered constitutional amendments that would have given SAC more authority in selecting its own leadership, but SAC commissioners voted the proposals down.

Palmese said he had encouraged Kay and Singh to offer their input and did not anticipate their resignation.

“It was a surprise to me and a surprise to a lot of people.” He also said, “I think it’s unfortunate that they decided to resign.”

Palmese also said there was precedent for the incoming GUSA president to appoint the incoming SAC chair without the consent of the outgoing SAC chair. He cited the example of two years ago, when incoming President John Cronan (COL ’98) appointed Gabe Camarillo (COL ’98) SAC chair despite the outgoing chair’s objections.

Palmese stressed that he had not yet made any decision and would not until this weekend. “I want to encourage [Kay and Singh] that the decision will be made solely based on what we [Palmese and Scott] be most helpful for SAC.”

Comments are closed.