When Rachel Fernandez lost in her bid to become president of the InterAmerican Campus’ Student Government Association in April, it seemed her opportunity to hold the highest ranking student political seat was over.
Four months later, the student—Gabriel Martin— who won the position, stepped-down from office. He cited personal reasons in his letter of resignation dated Aug. 18.
“I write this letter with the uttermost level of discontent,” a portion of the letter says. “It was a difficult decision that I had to make and this is something that means a lot to me. With this, I like to inform you that it is with a heavy heart that I step down from the position of Student Government President. Though it was a tough decision to make it is necessary at this moment to ensure my success in my professional as well as personal life.”
Fernandez was installed as the new SGA president at IAC shortly after.
The organization’s constitution does not address how SGA replaces a president that voluntarily steps down. It only states that: Should an elected candidate for President become ineligible to take office after an election and before the start of the term, the candidate shall be succeeded by the presidential candidate with the next highest number of votes.
However, Martin was not ineligible, at least according to his letter—he resigned for personal reasons.
Fernandez has not returned email requests by The Reporter to interview her; the organization’s adviser Patricia Tejeda has also not returned calls, messages or emails for an interview from the paper.
As president, Martin had plans that focused on uniting InterAmerican Campus’ day and night students through events and mentoring high school SGA clubs. For SGA’s annual project, he wanted to promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to the campus .
Before he left office, Martin sent a passionate message to his staff in his resignation letter: “Always be perseverant and persistent, which in this line of duty these two are awfully important. Remember that when [you’re] given a no, try to strive for a yes. Most of all when the going gets tough DO NOT GIVE U…”
For more information about the SGA at IAC, visit Room 6018 or call 305-237-6184.