SA VP, speaker pro tem resign at meeting

Zarana Sanghani

Senior Staff Writer

Through tears and in a choked voice, Students' Association Vice President Jon Erickson resigned his position at Wednesday's SA meeting for what he termed health-related reasons.

Erickson said he would miss "not just Natalie (Merritt, SA president) and the Senate, but the whole student body. That's what made my decision tough. (The student body) proved in March that they believed in me. I think I let them down."

The three years of commitment Erickson gave to SA will be remembered, Merritt said.

"He has really helped this organization. He has learned a lot and he has taught me even more," Merritt said. "He will have a legacy. No one will forget him for a while. We'll use his knowledge and continue on."

Erickson resigned in order to recover from an undisclosed illness, which he said was brought on by stress. He will also leave the university for the fall semester.

"Stress is a major problem, but I don't want to go into any other details because I am still waiting for test results," Erickson said.

Stress has weakened Erickson's health in the past, but not as much as he has recently experienced, he said.

Merritt named a search committee, which she said will interview and present to her four or five candidates for the vice presidency by Oct. 1.

Senate Speaker Pro Tem Calvin Pollard also announced his resignation from that position, but will continue to serve as senator from Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication. Pollard said demands from his classes as a senior left him less time than he anticipated to address his SA duties. At the next meeting, SA will take nominations for Pollard's position, Merritt said.

Also at Wednesday's meeting, SA passed the budget for the new fiscal year, and Law Center Sen. Donald Large introduced a bill asking SA to call for a televised debate between the mayoral candidates on campus. The Senate voted to table the bill until a committee further researched the bill.

Graduate School of Social Work Sen. Amaury Nora introduced a bill recommending SA support for a proposal to have the UH campus named as an early voting precinct.

Though early voting on campus may help students, the administration has to resolve problems such as inadequate parking on days designated for early voting, said Speaker of the Senate Nathan Wittman.

In other business, Merritt swore in Robert Williams as Senator for the empty College of Business seat.

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