SA senator steps down to focus on sustainability projects

A Student Association senator resigned a few hours after the last senate meeting of the semester.

Former SA Sen. Alex Griffin, CCAS-U, who served as the chair of the sustainability committee, stepped down earlier this month after he voted against a resolution recognizing outgoing University President Thomas LeBlanc’s accomplishments during his time in office. Griffin said he was thinking about resigning during the week before the meeting because he wanted to spend more time working with student organizations focused on sustainability, but SA Vice President Kate Carpenter asked if he could stay on for the last meeting.

“The SA takes up a lot of time, and I just felt like the time that I was investing into the SA was not time I wanted to be spending,” Griffin said in an interview.

Griffin spent about seven months in the senate and served on the student engagement committee, which disbanded over the summer. He said instead of preparing to be a “politician” in the SA, he will use his free time to work with student organizations like the GW Greenhouse Club, which looks after the Wilbur Harlan Greenhouse in the Science and Engineering Hall.

Griffin and SA Sen. Sofia Packer, U-at-Large, were the only senators to vote against the President LeBlanc Recognition Act at the meeting earlier this month, but Griffin said he was expecting a more “heated discussion” on the resolution. He said his opposition to the senate’s decision to pass the LeBlanc resolution made it “easier” for him to resign.

The Faculty Senate passed a similar resolution of appreciation for LeBlanc last month before he steps down at the end of the calendar year to cede the presidency to Mark Wrighton, the former chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis who will take on an interim role.

“We shouldn’t even really be acknowledging him but just move past it and focus on our new interim president and move from there,” Griffin said. “And I mean, at least personally, I view his job as something that should be pretty thankless. I found us recognizing him or even acknowledging him just felt a little gross.”

Applications for Griffin’s undergraduate CCAS seat closed Monday, according to the SA Instagram page.

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