Jesús Espinoza ’16 announced via an email to the student body that he had decided to step down from his position as College Council (CC) Co-President on Sept. 28.
In his email to the student body, Espinoza addressed his reason for resignation. He cited “the exhausting bureaucracy required in leading College Council – in conjunction with the everyday responsibilities of being a Williams student” as having “prompted [him] to redirect [his] energy to personal projects.”
Marcus Christian ’16, former co-president and current president, was himself somewhat taken aback by his co-president’s resignation.
“I was surprised to hear that he had made his decision to step down,” Christian said. “It was tough to hear.”
Christian has known Espinoza since even before their first years at the College – having been in the College’s Summer Humanities and Social Sciences Program with him.
“He’s a great guy,” Christian said of his colleague. “I think we’ve had a good relationship throughout – I was happy to run with him.”
Christian, the person arguably most immediately affected by Espinoza’s choice to resign, is sure that Espinoza has his own set of sound reasons for resigning.
“I trust in him; I want him to do what’s best for him, ultimately,” Christian said. “I care about [Espinoza] a lot and I feel that this is a big decision for him – he cares about the school a lot, he cares about [College] Council a lot, he’s been involved on and off for a while, so I know that this was something that had been wearing on him, and something that he felt like he needed to do.”
Espinoza’s resignation raised the question of whether or not Christian would man the presidential helm solo, or seek a new co-president to serve with him.
“[A co-president resignation] hasn’t really happened before … maybe once or twice in the past” – and perhaps as a result, there is no procedure laid out in CC bylaws for such a contingency, Christian said. “That’s something that we could look at – instituting the bylaws and having a formal procedure.” Christian doesn’t think it’s necessary, however, and is “happy with how the structure is set up.”
“I don’t think it’s something that you should go in expecting, that you’re going to have people really stepping down from positions like that,” Christian said. “I don’t think something needs to be put into [the bylaws], and I think that usually if it’s a case like this, it’s for personal reasons that should be respected, and accepted. And so from that standpoint, I don’t think anything in writing needs to be put in.”
The last time a CC co-president resigned was in 2005, when co-President Jess Howard ’06 decided to take a semester off. According to the bylaws at the time, there needed to be either a president and a vice president or two co-presidents (See “CC will replace Howard,” Sept. 13, 2005). However, there are now five different vice president positions, each of which are currently filled.
When Howard resigned, Alex Bal ’06, the previous co-president, became the president and an election was held for vice president. The bylaws stated that the opening was to be filled by a two-thirds vote of CC, but CC opted to hold an all-campus election and then confirm the results with a two-thirds vote of CC.
The last time an all-campus representative resigned waas in 2013. The co-presidents at the time, Adrian Castro ’14 and Max Heninger ’14, had the power to determine how a replacement would be chosen. They nominated a replacement, who was then confirmed by CC (See “CC appoints new Vice President for Student Affairs,” Oct. 9, 2013).
Despite the resignation, Christian articulated optimism, even energy,
“After speaking with other members of [College] Council and my team, I’m confident in their abilities; I know everybody’s going to step up, and I feel that in my position, because I have so much trust in the rest of [College] Council and their abilities, I think it’s going to be good,” Christian said.
Espinoza did not respond to the Record’s request for comment.