By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
Saying that his presence would be a detriment to the running of Students’ Association meetings, executive president Jeremy Smith has stopped attending them.
Smith skipped the last two meetings and said he will skip Wednesday’s final meeting in which business will be discussed. Vice president Jeremy Gordon will continue to preside over meetings in Smith’s absence.
“As things go on, the semester’s been wearing on him more and more,” Gordon said. “That could be a factor.”
Smith said he felt Congress had stopped listening to him, and that his presence was no longer necessary for SA meetings to function.
“I definitely do not feel like being at SA meetings anymore,” he said. “Basically I feel like I’ve done all I personally can.”
Smith said he is merely using the four absences every Congress member has. The Constitution is unclear about attendance requirements for the executive officers. While it requires the president to “preside over all meetings,” it also makes allowances for the vice president to provide in the president’s absence or at his request.
“People aren’t going to listen to me,” Smith sad. “They’ll only listen to a point. I do think I know best, but this isn’t more important than Congress feeling like they’re doing things.”
In the two meetings over which Gordon has presided, Congress has begun wading through a laundry list of bills designed to make the legislative body more efficient. Smith said he was frustrated that by his count, only three acts of legislation designed to help the students were actually passed: block tuition disapproval, a reallocation resolution and the request to have Good Friday off.
Health reasons were not the principle reason for skipping the meetings, Smith said, but “it’s pushing me in that direction.”
At least one Congress member said he feels Smith has failed to do his duty.
“I don’t feel like going to SA meetings either right now,” said Brandon Carter, senior class president. “But I go. He has a responsibility.”
Smith said he is not resigning the presidency and continues to do the work of the president in the time between the meetings.
Gordon has told Congress Smith has been working with personal issues, something Smith said Gordon thought up on his own.
“I don’t even know what he’s saying to Congress,” Smith said.