Coleman Maxwell resigns as Student Government secretary, citing ‘a host of difficult personalities’ in the organization

"AUSG is not the vessel of student advocacy or change it’s advertised to be"

 Coleman Maxwell resigns as Student Government secretary, citing ‘a host of difficult personalities’ in the organization

Editor’s Note: Jacob Fishman, the SG deputy secretary of communications, is a graphic designer for The Eagle. Fishman was not involved in the writing, reporting or editing of this story.

Coleman Maxwell, a junior in the School of Public Affairs, resigned Nov. 18 from his role as secretary of Student Government. His acting successor Alexandra McCormick, a sophomore in SPA, told The Eagle of his resignation at an SG executive branch town hall Dec. 7 and is actively looking for a replacement.

“We are currently preparing to put out an application for the Secretary's position for the rest of the semester,” she wrote in an email.

Maxwell did not announce his resignation, but SG’s website was changed to list him as “(Former) Secretary.” There were no other communications from SG to the student body about his resignation, aside from a brief mention that he had resigned at the town hall in December.

“At the time of my resignation, I think had I released a statement from myself … it probably wouldn’t have been taken very well by those in AUSG,” Maxwell told The Eagle on Monday. “It’s no secret that the majority of AU students don’t take AUSG seriously, and in my opinion they’re right not to … And I didn’t release a statement because, to be quite honest with you … I’m not interested in LARPing.”

Maxwell came into SG “wanting to enact change,” he said, “but the people that were in AUSG when I was made it impossible for that to happen.”

One of the reasons he said behind his decision to resign was that “during my entire time there, I was working with a host of difficult personalities, who do not endorse or practice healthy work-life balance. And I think it just takes a very specific kind of person to be in that organization.”

Despite that, he said he felt the communications team did great work. “We were able to successfully refresh the social media and outreach initiatives within AUSG,” he said.

Maxwell served first as a senator for the Class of 2024 in spring 2022. He was elected that semester to serve as secretary with 63 percent of the vote, taking on the role in summer 2022.

During his campaign, Maxwell called for clear communication from Student Government, which he said included updating the organization’s website and “having a more direct means of getting in touch” with SG officials.

It was announced on the SG Instagram Aug. 26 that the website and Twitter account had been updated, writing that it was “about damn time” for the changes.

Maxwell said he plans to spend his free time with Everybody Eats DC, an organization that distributes food to people experiencing homelessness.

He said the group “made me realize that AUSG is not the vessel of student advocacy or change that it’s advertised to be, and you can find that in other organizations, like the one I’m in.”

This story was edited by Mackenzie Konjoyan, Jordan Young and Nina Heller. Copy editing by Isabelle Kravis, Leta Lattin, Stella Guzik and Sarah Clayton.

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