Junior Arju Patel resigned from his position as the Richmond College Student Government president at the first meeting of the new body on April 13.
Patel, whose resignation will be effective April 20, is stepping down because he is graduating in fall 2022 to prioritize his mental health and save money, he said.
“I would have loved to have been president,” Patel said. “But I also recognize my future.”
Patel said he had been able to register for all the classes required for graduation in the fall semester. But doing so made him ineligible for the presidency because the tenure ends in the spring of 2023.
Patel said he had officially made his decision on April 11, but wanted to wait until RCSGA held its first meeting to get the incoming senators sworn in.
“I also just felt like they were the first people that should know about my decision,” he said.
Junior Joseph Coyle, who was appointed RCSGA vice president for administration, will assume the role of acting president per the RCSGA constitution, according to an email Dean Joe Boehman sent to Richmond College students.
“We are all very happy for Arju, we wish him all the best and we hope he stays involved with the RCSGA and the campus as much as possible,” Coyle wrote in a message to The Collegian after declining an interview.
Coyle also ran for RCSGA president but lost to Patel on March 23.
“It doesn't mean that some of the things that I talked about during my campaign won't happen — it's just I won't be able to be the president,” Patel said.
An RCSGA president resigning was just very out of the ordinary, said sophomore Brady Lang, who was appointed as RCSGA vice president of finance. Besides from one in 1938, Lang said he had never heard of any other president resigning.
“It sort of came out of nowhere for us,” he said. “But I'm still confident that the person we pick to replace Arju will do a great job.”
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Patel said his resignation was unrelated to junior Hoor Ain’s disqualification from the Westhampton College Government Association presidential election on March 31 after stating that there were sexual predators in RCSGA.
Boehman will be reaching out to all Richmond College students who meet the criterion for RCSGA president, which includes being a member of the class of 2023 with a minimum GPA of 3.00 and has served at least one year in RCSGA, he wrote.
At the April 13 meeting, Boehman said there were 13 members of Richmond College who fulfilled the requirements for president, Lang said.
If two or more candidates come forward for the position, a special election will be held in August, Boehman wrote. If only one candidate comes forward, they will be appointed the next president by acclamation of the Richmond College Senate, he wrote.
Patel said if there was an opening on RCSGA for the fall, he would consider running, but he hadn’t given it too much thought yet.
“I have no idea who’s going to end up becoming president,” he said. “But I believe that there are leaders in RCSGA that will step up and take over the gap.”
Contact news editor Natasha Sokoloff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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