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Student government chief of staff resigns

October 18, 2000

ASMSU, the university’s undergraduate student government, is dealing with its third chief of staff resignation in less than two years.

Jack Teasdale, an interdisciplinary social sciences junior, announced his intentions to leave the high-profile position during an Academic Assembly meeting last week.

“I thought I knew what I was doing,” he said. “But it’s amazing what kinds of things would happen. You won’t find anything like it anywhere else, just in student government.”

While he did not identify any specifics for the resignation, Teasdale made it apparent that he needed some time before discussing the issue.

“Just give me a week to catch up on the things I’ve neglected since the semester started,” he wrote in a memo sent to the assembly last week.

Instead, the now-former chief of staff listed his reasons in a letter that ASMSU refuses to release to The State News.

Teasdale said, though, his sudden declaration was more a result of personal issues rather than past distaste for the student government. But Teasdale also said he felt the time commitment was more than he could handle.

“I felt like to keep up (with the job), I would have had to put in so much time and energy that I would have had to neglect everything else in my life,” Teasdale said.

Duties for the one year, $1,620 position include overseeing the student government’s executive office and supervising operations conducted by the Academic and Student assemblies.

These responsibilities, in particular the management of both assemblies, are a primary source of stress, Teasdale said.

“You have staff and the student population on one side then you have the two (chairpersons) and the assemblies on the other side,” he said. “Each person has a hold on some part of your body, so it’s just a matter of time before you get ripped apart.”

Toward the middle of his memorandum, Teasdale addressed a matter that has arisen within ASMSU in the last year.

“I have heard conflicting remarks about this, but it is widely rumored that no one can remember when a chief of staff has lived through their entire term,” he wrote in the memo.

This latest resignation leaves many current and former ASMSU officials believing the position carries too much responsibility. But most say the representative accepting the position should know what to expect before tackling the new job.

“The chief of staff is a very difficult position to have,” said Charles McHugh, ASMSU Academic Assembly chairperson. “A lot of people get into the job not knowing what exactly a chief of staff has to do.”

Waseya Cornell resigned from the post in January 1999 and Lisa Stark, who was hired in March 1999, wound up resigning in December.

Stark resigned because of sexual harassment she says occurred in ASMSU offices. Cornell was discouraged by the lack of dedication by students, but resigned to study abroad.

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