Representatives resign over leadership troubles

James Dyer

Throughout the semester, ASNMU has seen numerous members resign their positions as representatives. Many have resigned due to time constraints, but lately members have been resigning because of internal conflicts with the ASNMU leadership.

Kim Martino, previously an off-campus ASNMU representative, resigned partly because of time constraints, but also because she didn’t feel ASNMU was a valuable use of her time. Martino was appointed to her position in October of 2009, and worked on projects like the bike share program during her time as a representative.

“I saw ASNMU as a big source of change. (In the past) I had faith and trust that ASNMU was doing something,” Martino said.

Martino is frustrated that ASNMU money was spent on the campus study lounge, which encourages students to stay up late studying, as opposed to maintaining the bike share program, she said.

The resignations of six ASNMU representatives were approved by the assembly at the ASNMU meeting on Oct. 25 in the Cadillac room. The General Assembly currently consists of 12 representatives with 12 open positions. // Justin Key/NW

Martino’s resignation was approved at the Oct. 25 ASNMU meeting.

Another aspect of ASNMU that drew Martino away from the organization was a lack of cooperation between leadership and representatives, she said.

“ASNMU leaders are inexperienced, underpaid and unwilling to help. I realize, though, that it’s a hard job,” Martino said.

Former off-campus representative Aaron Loudenslager resigned because of similar conflicts with the ASNMU leadership.

Loudenslager joined ASNMU because of an interest in politics and an urge to have a say in changes that were happening on campus, he said. Loudenslager presented his ideas to the general assembly on projects such as a student credit union on campus and the founding of a Student Defense Office to defend students brought before the all student judiciary. Both of these proposals were stalled by the ASNMU executive board, Loudenslager said.

“There is no leadership and no objectives from the leadership. They stand on their high horse and criticize anything that is introduced,” he said.

Loudenslager decided to tender his resignation when discussion stalled on his proposal for the student defense office by the executive board.

“It seems like ASNMU is trying to suppress ideas. I think my time working on the Student Defense Office would be better spent on my own,” he said.

Loudenslager is working with the advisers of the student defense office to create the organization independently so that it cannot be watered down by ASNMU, he said.

“Stripping away politics to represent students doesn’t mean suppressing ideas behind closed doors,” Loudenslager said.

ASNMU President Lucia Lopez said that inefficiency and dislike for the executive board of ASNMU are the two main causes for the latest string of resignations. ASNMU is far from a perfect organization, Lopez said.

“It’s unfortunate to see them leave, but (representatives) can’t always get their way. Programs have to be thought out carefully,” she said.

Lopez said that she was supportive of ideas, including Loudenslager’s idea for a student defense office, but that in Loudenslager’s case, more information was needed to make the proposal a reality.

Lopez said that these recent resignations don’t necessarily come as a surprise, but they are regretful nonetheless.

“It’s unfortunate to see them go just because of politics. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I don’t think the resignations are my fault. It is (the president’s) fault that ASNMU is not a perfect organization, Lopez said.

ASNMU approved six resignations at the Monday Oct. 25 meeting.

Though the organization has lost members, new members are also being sworn in on a weekly basis, Lopez said.

“A couple of (new representatives) are freshman, but they are taking a lot of initiative on their own. They came in full of ideas,” Lopez said.

ASNMU is currently seating 12 representatives and has 12 open positions.