Union vice president resigns following judiciary hearing
After filing a complaint that went to the Union Judiciary for a hearing, the Union vice president stepped down.
Student Union Vice President Guillermo Caballero ’20 resigned from his position at Sunday’s Senate meeting, effective today at 4 p.m. He cited alleged exclusivity within the Union and conflicts with Union leadership as reason for his resignation.
The Union will hold a special election in the next two to three weeks to elect a new vice president. Until then, Executive Senator Jake Rong ’21 will serve as the interim vice president and Senator-at-Large Nancy Zhai ’22 will serve as the interim Executive Senator.
“I gave a lot of thought on whether I wanted to continue working for the Union to build the body I envisioned. However, my work has been hindered by several obstacles, but especially by being under the supervision of people that do not share the same values of inclusion and visions as I do,” he said. He added that he felt judged by other Union members for his “lack of experience” with the Union.
Immediately after Caballero’s resignation, the Senate read a censure for the public record about his actions described in the recent Judiciary case and called upon him to change his behavior in the future.
Caballero said during the Senate meeting that his vision for the Union included increasing unity among branches and empowering all members to be confident in their ability to carry out their duties and feel included.
Tatuskar told the Justice on Monday that she learned of Caballero’s resignation at the same time as the Senate, and that it came as a shock to her.
“There wasn’t much of a precursor to this and he didn’t really make his issues known. Obviously I would have preferred if he’d come and spoken to me before the resign[ation] so we could’ve worked out the problem together, but his decision to leave is his own, and he has every right to do it,” she said.
However, Tatuskar believes that the Union must move forward and continue to fulfill its prescribed role as a dedicated representative to the student body despite this setback.
The Senate passed a resolution during the Senate meeting mandating that Tatuskar issue a public apology to all parties involved in the recent Judiciary case brought by Caballero and Senior Representative to the Board of Trustees Zosia Busé ’20 and give an explanation to the student body of the Judiciary’s decision and the facts behind the case. Tatuskar told the Justice that she planned to follow through with the apology to allow the Union and the University community to move forward. “I’m here because I care,” she said.
In explaining his resignation during the interview, Caballero cited a feeling of exclusivity in the Union that excluded people without prior Union experience. Responding to those accusations, Tatuskar said that she gave each applicant to the E-Board an equal chance, and that those chosen have shown their merits. While Union experience was encouraged, she said, it was not required.
“If you look at my entire Student Union, upwards of half of them have no prior Union experience,” she said, adding that she held an “E-Board 101” meeting at the beginning of the year to teach all new E-Board members about the function of the E-Board and their individual responsibilities.
During the special election cycle, there will be two meet-the-candidates events and a candidate debate. Tatuskar said that there will be a 10-day election cycle, which is a change from the previous 7-day cycle. This is a trial to potentially make future election campaigns longer.
“I’m just going to sit down with each candidate and make sure that I understand where their intentions are, where they’re coming from and that they understand the magnitude of the role that they’re choosing to put themselves on the line to undertake,” Tatuskar said.
Tatuskar said that she hopes the next vice president “has the drive, the passion and just the overall commitment towards Student Union. The way I see it, as long as an individual has passion, and cares, they can do amazing things in the Student Union.”
—This article was amended to clarify that Vice President Guillermo Caballero was not formally censured. Rather, a censure was read out for the public record.
—This article was amended to say that Interim Executive Senator Nancy Zhai is in the Class of 2022.