ETHAN KLAPPER/THE EAGLE
Student Government Vice President Alex Prescott was suspended until April 25 — the day new SG executives transition — at a meeting of the Undergraduate Senate on Sunday for his mishandling of the Founders’ Day Ball.
Prescott was suspended in a vote of 12 to 4 for his inability to secure a contract for the Ball and the event’s cancellation on Friday.
Senator for the School of Public Affairs Eric Reith made the motion to suspend Prescott.
“There have been questions throughout the year about his actions as vice president,” he said in an e-mail. “It culminated in the gross mismanagement of the planning for the Founders’ Day Ball.”
SG President Andy MacCracken stressed that Prescott is, in name, still the SG vice president. He will still receive his compensation, but he is temporarily suspended from all of his duties.
SG Secretary Colin Meiselman may take on some of Prescott’s responsibilities, but Prescott will not officially be leaving his post.
Prescott said earlier in the day that the Ball was canceled this year due to a number of issues with contracts, staffing and availability.
Student Activities Program Adviser Andrew Toczydlowski said that members of the SG were told Founders’ Day Ball could not be held this year after they “repeatedly missed deadlines for contract and event proposal submission.” Toczydlowski noted that events like the Founders’ Day Ball usually take months to plan in advance.
“While Student Activities extended the deadline for submission of the necessary information a few times for this year’s Founders’ Day Ball, we eventually reached a point where the university ... would not be able to process the necessary paperwork in time for this event to take place this semester,” Toczydlowski said.
Prescott and Founders’ Day Director Jacque Martin canceled the ball Friday morning after discussing the matter with Student Activities and the Office of Campus Life.
The SG was also told that the most realistic option at this point for an event to replace Founders’ Day would be a large-scale event in an on-campus venue, specifically the Tavern, according to Toczydlowski.
Prescott said he is disappointed that the Founders’ Day Ball could not be successfully held this year.
“I’m very upset,” Prescott said. “[Founders’ Day Ball] is something that I really wanted to see come to fruition. I apologize to the campus for the inconvenience this has caused. But I am optimistic for next year’s Founders’ Day Ball.”
The Senate’s power to suspend was only created at last week’s meeting. Class of
2011 2010 Senator Steve Dalton proposed a bill that outlined procedures for any future impeachment hearings and also gave the Senate power to suspend SG members. Dalton said that the power to suspend gave the Senate an option between two extremes — the power to impeach and remove from office and the power to censure, which Dalton called a “slap on the wrist.”
The money that was supposed to be used for Founders’ Day will be reallocated to fund events going on throughout April, such as Eagle Nights and Spring Fling week, Prescott said.
SG Secretary Colin Meiselman said members of the SG did make an effort to bring Founders’ Day back after it was initially postponed in February. A proposal to hold the event on April 3 was rejected because the proposal was missing vital information.
Meiselman said after Spring Break, Undergraduate Senator-at-large Jenny Kim and Eagle Nights Director Riley Fujisaki, along with a few other people, submitted a proposal complete with a location, catering, entertainment and solid contracts.
Student Activities rejected this proposal on Friday because they could not process the proposal and its contracts in time for the event. At this time Student Activities also notified the SG that the Founders’ Day Ball could not realistically occur this year.
Meiselman said he is disappointed in Prescott and Martin.
“There’s some outside factors that played in, but ultimately it came down to two people — [Prescott] and [Martin],” Meiselman said. “I wish they had asked for help when they needed it. So many people would have been willing to step up to the plate.”
Meiselman also said he is disheartened that he could not have Founders’ Day Ball as the capstone event of his senior year and of his time in the SG.
“I’m just embarrassed,” Meiselman said. “It’s really embarrassing that [the SG] was not able to pull this off.”
This article originally identified Steve Dalton as the senator for the class of 2011. Dalton is senator for the class of 2010. The Eagle regrets this error.