In an address to the Student Government Association (SGA) legislature during yesterday’s meeting, SGA Campus Services Committee Chair and Goizueta Business School senior Haley Ratner called for the resignation of SGA President and College senior Adam McCall.
Ratner asked for McCall’s resignation in light of the bill he co-authored to grant College Council (CC) the ability to allocate charters and funding for student groups under the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Council and the Emory Student Nursing Association (ESNA).
The bill authors — who also included SGA Attorney General and College senior Kristin Bielling, CC President and College junior Ashish Gandhi and Emory Student Nursing Association (ESNA) President and Nursing School senior Colette Bernstein — have tabled the bill.
However, Ratner contended that McCall’s actions in proposing and moving forward with this bill lacked transparency, indicating that “it is clear that he is not viewing his actions from all students’ perspectives.”
“Adam has stressed transparency throughout his term; yet, he lacks transparency,” Ratner commented. “He never informed [the SGA executive board] about this bill other than [through] a meeting in October. It is clear from his recent actions that he is not a clear and honest representation of campus life.”
McCall, on the other hand, noted that his willingness to withdraw the bill demonstrated what he felt was his dedication to serving the Emory community.
“If I were [unrepresentative of the student body], I would have kept this bill on the agenda, plain and simple, and I wouldn’t have responded to criticisms,” McCall said during the legislative session. “That’s why I’m having open office hours for the next three days. I can take your criticisms. I’m willing to talk with you and engage you all; that’s the best thing we can do to address concern instead of [drumming] up controversy. I reached out to everybody who was affected by the bill.”
Adding that SGA’s bylaws grant its president the ability to “summon the General Assembly of the SGA into a Special Session to address issues of the utmost pressing importance,” Ratner criticized McCall’s decision to not to do so.
“The issue that we have been dealing with over the last week is one of those moments that Adam should have called a special session, yet Adam felt it more important to take to emailing the entire student body and posting on his Facebook to deal with these issues,” she explained.
In response to this claim, McCall explained that he was unable to hold such a meeting due to an out-of-town job interview he had last week, noting that he nonetheless received “some very critical responses” to his Facebook post and email.
“I didn’t organize an emergency SGA meeting because I announced the Monday before that the bill was on the agenda, and I told people to reach out with questions,” he remarked. “I don’t think I should be criticized for engaging people critically. If I had another chance to do this, I would have pushed the bill back by a week.”
In addition, Ratner commented that she felt as though some of McCall’s “actions over his term as a whole have shown that he is not representing the student body,” citing his recent choices for appointments to SGA positions as an example.
“There have been several resignations throughout Adam’s term and Adam has chosen to fill these openings with members from his fraternity,” she said to the legislature, adding that, despite claiming that he “searched the University for nominees” to the SGA elections board, she felt that McCall simply accepted the first seven nominations he received.
Addressing the legislative session, Ratner announced that she would move forward with the four-week long process necessary for McCall’s impeachment, starting with a SGA Governance Committee hearing that would take place next week.
SGA Student Life Committee Chair and College senior Sam Cammer expressed his concern that the impeachment process would hinder SGA’s productivity because it would cause legislators to spend “the majority of [their] time going through those proceedings.”
“I think this week, SGA has sort of had itself dragged through the mud,” he remarked. “A lot of people were upset. I think at this point — especially considering that this bill has been withdrawn — it’s important that we move on and not mar ourselves. I’d encourage everyone to think about whether those proceedings are worthwhile.”
BBA Council President and B-School senior Ali Jooma, who spearheaded efforts against the bill, explained in an email to the Wheel
that he would support Ratner during the impeachment process due to what he perceived to be misconduct on McCall’s part.
“I think it’s unacceptable for any student in a position of power to exercise double standards,” he commented. “Being that as the SGA president, he was elected to represent the student body; if the students support the resignation of his presidency, will he be willing to be the leader he was elected to be, and voluntarily step down from office? Or does he see merit in over-extending his powers? It’ll be interesting to see his ethics in action.”
— Contact Stephanie Fang.