Jacob Daniels has been involved in the ASUO for a long time. He has run for Executive twice, served on Senate, the PFC and numerous other committees and programs. He resigned after last weeks Senate meeting, and has released this statement, detailing his decision.Dear Senate President Rosenberg:
With regret, I will resign from ASUO Senate Seat #15 on April, 29th at 11:59pm. This amount of time will allow me to fulfill my duties on the Appropriations Committee.
I resign out of frustration. Where does this frustration come from? Last fall we passed a 2.5 percent benchmark for the ASUO Programs Finance Committee. I strongly supported, and still support this benchmark. And the motion passed with flying colors, but was the subject of discussion and challenge over the course of many meetings to follow. Hours upon hours were spent by Senators trying to overturn the benchmark. I participated in these discussions, defending my position, and eventually these challenges failed. An abundance of time and effort was put into these challenges and defenses, and at this point I felt that the Senate was fully upholding its responsibility of challenging every decision. I felt that the democratic process had been fulfilled as a voting majority of Senate was satisfied with the outcome.
To my dismay, it turned out that these hours upon hours of conversations were spent in vein. PFC presented a budget only slightly above 2.5 percent, but this number didn’t account for the Petkin/Walsh/Axelrod initiated removal of the Career Center from the Incidental Fee. When accounting for the Career Center’s removal, we find that the PFC allocation was closer to 4.5 percent. I initially opposed this budget, but as some PFC members cried in the boardroom, I felt the sympathy to switch my vote in favor of their budget. I thought this battle had come to an end since programs, contracts, and departments received more than 4 percent in increases (when accounting for the Career Center transfer). I felt that the only loser in this equation was me, since I wavered on my initial support of a 2.5 percent increase.
However, I was wrong. Ten Senators, including myself, would later be publicly referred to as racists by a fellow Senator because of our fiscally sound approach to the PFC benchmark. I’m fully aware that institutionalized racism exists, and I look forward to the workshops that will address this problem within our organization. I think everyone should eagerly welcome an opportunity to improve their cultural competence. But to call ten Senators racists because of our approach to PFC is completely out of line. The ten Senators approached the PFC budget from a purely economic standpoint. Every year approximately $50,000 goes unspent and thus rolls-over into the surplus account. When the 2.5 percent benchmark was passed, there was over $200,000 in the surplus account. What type of government increases taxes while sitting on huge surpluses of money? Certainly not a wise government. Therefore the Senate felt it our responsibility to limit fee-growth in the only area of the Incidental fee where we have clear evidence of inefficient spending. The result being the public tarnishing of my name, as well as the names of nine other Senators.
Jonathan, I’m fully confident that you will serve well in your new capacity as Senate President. Unfortunately, I cannot find it in myself to finish the year and thus be of assistance to you in this new endeavor. I have nothing but admiration for the students who are willing to continue standing up to adversity in their attempt to represent the entire campus community. However, I feel that any further time I spend on Senate will be wasted time, since any discussion will likely pertain to internal political skirmishes. I extend to you praise for your commitment to representing the students, and I wish you the best of luck.