Student Confederation President Nick Terzulli announced the resignation of Student Advocacy Center Director Rich Garcia at Sunday’s General Assembly meeting and plans to name a new director Thursday night. SC Secretary Karen Fischer also announced that Director of Communications Bryan Dake did not return to AU this semester.
Noting that Garcia “did a fantastic job” as director of the SAC, Terzulli said “sometimes students who get really involved forget their other commitments.”
Garcia said Wednesday that he resigned because he received incomplete grades in two classes last semester and is still resolving them. These incompletes meant he could not keep his grade point average at the minimum level to stay in office, he said.
“There were some personal things going on,” Garcia said. “December just wasn’t a good month for me.”
Since he had only a few months left in his term as director, Garcia decided it would be easier to step down now, he said.
Terzulli estimated that Garcia may have needed to keep up a GPA of 2.0 to keep his office, but was not sure about this figure. Karen Gerlach, director of Student Activities, was unavailable for comment Wednesday afternoon.
SAC is a student-staffed office under the SC that works to protect students’ rights when interacting with the University administration.
Terzulli said he plans to meet with the SAC staff Thursday night and then choose Garcia’s replacement based on what the staff has to say.
“I haven’t picked anyone yet,” Terzulli said. “I’m not going to go in there and pick someone else or pick one of my friends or something.”
The new director will be in office at least through the end of April, he said.
Garcia, who said he will not help choose the new director, said he would like the position to go to senior Liz Hoffman, the current assistant director of the SAC.
He said he was unhappy that he needed to step down so suddenly because the transition for the new director will be harder. He would like to keep working in the SAC office to make sure that things run smoothly there, he said.
However, between himself, Terzulli and Student Activities staff, “there’s three different opinions about what my role should be,” Garcia said. “I don’t know if I’m even able to be in the office.”
Terzulli said Garcia does not need to separate himself from the SAC completely.
“If the SAC office needs him to clarify something, that’s all well and good,” he said.
Still, Garcia’s grades and Student Activities rules determine how much he could be involved with the office, Terzulli said.
“He cannot actively participate in student government with the GPA that he had,” he said.
Garcia said he is confident that the office is in capable hands.
“I’m not as worried because there’s some very competent people that work in the SAC office,” he said.
Also at Sunday’s GA meeting, Fischer announced that she named sophomore Heather Schilling as Dake’s replacement.
A mutual friend told Fischer that Dake’s departure was because of a “personal issue, maybe family-oriented,” Fischer said. She has been unable to reach Dake since then.
The director of communications sends a weekly e-mail to members of the General Assembly and helps with such activities as making posters and quarter sheets.
Schilling is active in activities, including Circle K, she said.
“I’m a very dedicated person, a very organized person,” Schilling said.
Fischer said she knew Schilling because they went to the same high school in Lansdale, Pa., although the two didn’t know each other well then.
“I had known that she was interested in getting involved in student government at AU,” Fischer said. “In my crunch I basically gave her a ring.”