Student Union Vice President resigns position
Student Union Vice President Sofía Mühlmann ’16 has resigned from her position after one semester of service.
Mühlmann announced her resignation on Sunday in a short and to-the-point email to the student body, writing that “it has been a pleasure representing you.”
The Student Union will hold a vice-presidential election at the same time that it holds winter elections for midyear senator and other open positions, according to Student Union President Sneha Walia ’15 in an email to the Justice.
In an interview with the Justice, Mühlmann described her resignation as “very much a personal decision.
“The decision to step down was because I realized that, you know, I needed to take a different direction in my life and that I am so invested in my community and I so much love and support my community members that being vice president wasn’t necessarily the only way for me to represent my peers,” she said.
Mühlmann added that she just “want[ed] to be Sofía,” despite so many of her peers recognizing her as the Student Union vice president. “I don’t need a title to represent my peers,” she said. “I didn’t feel like I was more powerful with the title.”
“It’s important that she made a decision which she felt was best for her, because self-care and recognizing your own needs is critical in college,” Student Union President Walia ’15 wrote.
As vice president, Mühlmann said that she helped to improve the atmosphere and dialogue that occurred during Senate meetings. “I know that the dynamic of the Senate meetings was very different last year than it was this year, and I know that leaving, I have left an environment that I have created, and it’s one that is kind and it’s respectful and empowering and efficient and fun,” she said.
Mühlmann said that she has also contributed to increasing Senate committee efficiency. She and Executive Senator Naomi DePina ’16 worked to create a Google Drive system for committees to track their progress. She also drafted written guidelines for committees to clarify their responsibilities, she said. She noted that Senator-at-Large Brian Hough ’17 had expressed interest in making these written guidelines a by-law in the Student Union Constitution.
In an interview with the Justice, DePina said that she and Mühlmann worked well together. “She’s hard-working; she is a great leader,” she said. “She really cares. That’s her thing, and she invests a lot emotionally. I think that’s probably why she probably resigned, because she invested a lot emotionally.”
DePina also said that Mühlmann was effective in her own initiatives and in speaking to administration. “She always took it upon herself and acted right away,” she said, but added that resigning “was something that she needed to do for herself."
Hough did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
Mühlmann has also been helping to create a new Student Union website with Prakhar Sahay ’17, director of communications on the Executive Board, but noted that the updated website is still in the works.
“[W]orking with Sofia was really positive. She’s connected to a lot of areas on campus, and definitely brought those insights to the job,” wrote Studen Union President Sneha Walia ‘15 in an email to the Justice. Walia noted that Mühlmann’s previous position as a community adviser, for example, was helpful in the Student Union’s work and relationship with Tim Touchette, who was appointed as the new director of the Department of Community Living in September.
Mühlmann said that she will miss attending and helping to run Senate meetings. “It was so beautiful to watch as the senators came up with their own ideas and were motivated to support their peers,” she said.