Associated Students, Inc. board member Sara Padash will now head the student government board following the resignation of former President Kenneth Collins. The board announced the change in presidency Aug. 27, one week after the start of the semester.
“Thank you all for having faith in me to fill some big shoes,” Padash said to fellow board members. “I can only hope to be just as great of a leader as he (Collins) was.”
Collins, who was not present at the meeting, privately distributed his letter of resignation to members of the board, but did not make public the cause of his withdrawal from office. ASI Executive Director Peter Koo insisted that Collins simply cited “personal reasons” in his letter.
“Even though I’m not the happiest person having to step out, I know Associated Students is in good hands,” Collins said.
ASI bylaws ensure that the Vice President of Internal Affairs takes the presidential seat if the elected president steps down from the position. The board’s vote Wednesday confirmed that Vice President of Internal Affairs, Padash, will assume the presidential seat.
“I commend him on the work he has put in,” said Celia Gonzalez, liberal and creative arts representative. “He has done a lot behind the scenes and it is going to be difficult for the rest of the year.”
The former president won his seat with a 41 percent vote in the spring election. Collins’ presidency followed four prior years of involvement with the ASI board, two of which he served as an executive member.
“At the end of the day, all he wanted was what was best for the students. He did a great job here and it is sad to see him go,” Padash said.
Padash began her career with ASI as an intern and then served as the Health and Human Services Representative before becoming the Vice President of Internal Affairs.
“People love Sarah Padash. It’s hard not to like her because she’s so driven and so passionate and she cares a lot about the students,” Collins said.
With Padash taking on a new role as ASI President, the Vice President of Internal Affairs position remains vacant. Padash will be accepting letters of intent from those interested in the position and will then choose a candidate she feels fit to present to the board for consideration.
Once the recommendation is presented to the board, the members will vote to approve the candidate. Sept. 1 is the deadline for the letters of intent.
“I already feel the support,” Padash said. “Numerous members have already come up to me and have said, ‘congratulations, we know you will do a great job, and please let us know if there is anything we can do.’”