Aswani’s chief of staff resigns in protest

The highest member of Student Association President Vishal Aswani’s cabinet, Chief of Staff Greta Twombly, resigned on Friday, asserting that her relationship with Aswani deteriorated to the point where her position became “pointless.”

The announcement is the latest example of growing discord within the Student Association executive, and marks the fifth person to resign since Aswani’s term began. In December, members of Aswani’s cabinet publicly confronted him about being paranoid and isolated. Now, with the resignation of Aswani’s top cabinet member, remaining members of the executive said they are struggling to accomplish their goals only two months before a new administration takes office.

“Greta served a great and valuable role and I thank her for her time spent in the Student Association,” Aswani said in an e-mail, adding that Deputy Chief of Staff Geoffrey Louden would replace Twombly.

“A Chief of Staff cannot serve effectively if their boss will not even return their calls, respond to e-mails and refuse to meet with them,” Twombly wrote in her letter of resignation to Aswani. “By pushing me out and isolating himself amongst a close group who refuse to question him, even when it is necessary, he has become something I can no longer support.”

Twombly, who helped run Aswani’s campaign almost a year ago, said she lost faith in Aswani as a leader.

“When you approached me more than one year ago to run your campaign, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to really change the way the SA operated and impart a fresh, new attitude,” Twombly wrote. “Sadly, you have fallen greater than I ever could have imagined.”

After Aswani’s Vice President of Public Affairs Tabisa Walwema resigned in a similar fashion in December, Aswani’s cabinet warned him to “shape up” or expect more resignations.

After that meeting, Aswani pledged to open the doors of communication with campus media outlets and improve communication within his executive cabinet.

But Twombly said Aswani did not change.

“He is malicious in the way he pits the staff against each other, he lies to further himself, and he pushes out anyone who dares to question even the simplest of ideas,” Twombly said in the letter.

She also said Aswani has not achieved what he set out to do as SA president.

“His campaign platform has fallen by the wayside in his pursuit for some unidentified greater goal. He has broken countless promises, and he has shattered numerous friendships,” she wrote. “Despite all this I still had hope that we could turn things around. Once he completely shut me out and refused to even acknowledge me on the street, I was left with no choice.”

In the final words of her letter, Twombly wished the rest of the members of Aswani’s cabinet well in the few months remaining of Aswani’s term, saying they have “a tough few months ahead.”

She wrote, “I do hate having to leave behind such a great group of vice presidents, the Senate, and even the Office Assistants, yet I can no longer work for someone who respects me and the organization they lead so little.”

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.