Half of College Democrats e-board resigns

Updated: Oct. 29, 2019 at 12:26 p.m.

Half of the GW College Democrats’ executive board has resigned.

Seven members of the organization’s leadership – the president, vice president of membership, vice president of diversity and inclusion, chief of staff, finance director, programming director and vice president of communications – announced their resignations in an email sent to College Democrats members Monday. The email states that several leaders departed to focus on academics and mental health, but others said internal issues within the organization’s e-board prompted them to leave.

“We all wish GW College Democrats the best and want to see the organization be successful and believe that we will serve this organization best as general body members,” the email states.

College Democrats President Lauren Bordeaux is leaving her post to focus on her academics and mental health, the email states. She did not immediately return a request for comment.

Helena Russo-Delee, College Democrats’ chief of staff, and Charlie Panfil, the organization’s finance director, both resigned because they were appointed by Bordeaux and believe “it is in their best interest” to step down from their positions. The two did not return requests for comment.

Elizabeth Gonzalez, the organization’s vice president of membership, stepped down because of “the stress and anxiety that has impacted who she is as a person.” Gonzalez hopes College Democrats members move forward in an “uplifting manner toward love and kindness,” according to the email.

“She is not happy that her position has transformed the way she sees herself and her resignation is a way to be the best version of herself,” the email states.

Gonzalez did not immediately return a request for comment.

Harita Iswara, the vice president of diversity and inclusion, departed to focus on her academics and professional development, the email states. Iswara did not immediately return a request for comment.

Prior to the five members’ resignations, College Democrats programming director Luke Briggs – who took on the position two weeks ago – and vice president of communications Drew Amstutz left their posts, citing “personal reasons,” according to the email.

“There was drama and I didn’t want to be a part of it,” Briggs said in an email.

Amstutz said he did not expect that additional e-board members would depart around the time he resigned early Monday morning. He stepped down because of  “unethical actions” within the organization that took place last month and were brought to his attention Sunday, he said. Amstutz declined to specify what occurred, saying he was not directly involved with the situation.

“I was made aware of these actions [Sunday] night and felt that the organization was not heading in a direction that I could support and that it didn’t align with my values and felt that it would be better if I were to step down and let opposing sides figure things out without me,” he said.

The organization is holding a town hall Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. in District House for College Democrats members to ask questions about the turnover, according to a separate email sent to body members early Tuesday morning. College Democrats is also in the process of sending applications for students to apply for the vacant seats, the email states.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly spelled Elizabeth Gonzalez’s last name. It is now spelled correctly. We regret this error.

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