Emily Calkins ’14 has replaced Mike Williams ’15 as the vice president for Student Affairs of College Council (CC). Williams voluntarily resigned from his position last week due to scheduling conflicts. Eric Liao ’14 will replace Calkins as one of the four Class of 2014 representatives, having finished as runner-up in the original election earlier this semester.
According to CC’s constitution, the power to replace elected representatives mid-term lies with the CC co-presidents, Adrian Castro ’14 and Max Heninger ’14. While the co-presidents were responsible for the final decision, they consulted the CC executive committee, comprised of all the year-long elected members at length before their decision. “We think we will always make a better decision by consulting as many people as we can,” said Castro.
Castro and Heninger dealt with a rare situation this semester: An elected member of CC has not stepped down for about a decade. Without an extensive constitutional procedure, the co-presidents were responsible for the methods of selection for both Williams’ and Calkins’ replacements. The ultimate decision was to limit the pool of potential replacements for Williams to already-elected members of CC, and self-nominations from within the organization were then welcomed. “We received a few [self-nominations], and it was not a clear choice who we wanted,” Castro said. “We actually spent a lot longer than I thought [in deliberation].”
The executive committee took a spectrum of factors into account in their debate for Williams’ replacement. “We let everyone discuss the pros and cons of each person, and then we had an almost hour-long deliberative process where we began to narrow down the field,” Heninger said. Although the committee did not come to a consensus, members felt they had expressed all their opinions by the end of the hour. The presidents also consulted Erica Mozskowski ’15, who is currently studying abroad. Mozskowski was the other half of Williams’ split ticket who served in the position last spring. After the executive meeting, “[Castro and I] talked amongst ourselves, probably for another 45 minutes, thinking about everything that had been said and then together came to the conclusion that Emily was the best candidate,” Heninger said.
At the general meeting last Wednesday, the co-presidents presented their nomination to CC, and Calkins was agreed upon unanimously. CC also approved Heninger and Castro’s decision to nominate runner-up Liao as a representative for the Class of 2014. Calkins will leave her semester-long position as a Class of 2014 representative to finish Williams’ term. “I was really excited this semester to be on Council in any capacity,” Calkins said. “I think that it will be a good fit, and that it’s going to draw on all the experiences that I’ve had at Williams, even outside of the CC ones.”
“It will definitely be a game of catch up for a little bit,” Calkins said, but she is excited to work on issues such as the potential relocation of quiet housing and “issues of campus culture at large.” Among other things, her new responsibilities will include attending Committee for Undergraduate Life meetings and Upperclassmen Residential Life Ad-hoc Advisory Committee meetings.
Liao has accepted the position and will serve until both the Class of 2014 representative and Vice President for Student Affairs positions expire in February, when all-campus elections will be held. Calkins will not run on a split ticket for her new position. “I would definitely consider running again … in a semester-long capacity, [but] I think the leadership role is really ideal when it’s given to one person for the entire year,” Calkins said.
“In only 24 hours of having this position [Calkins] has already demonstrated an incredible willingness to learn as much as she can about all the issues that she will be covering,” Heninger said. The presidents are also confident that Liao will be able to jump into his position, noting his past experience on CC. Because the constitution provided no detailed procedure for the replacement of an elected official, Heninger and Castro hope to codify an order of succession system.