Widgets Magazine

ASSU Vice President Wharton resigns

ASSU Vice President Kelsei Wharton ’12 announced his resignation at Tuesday evening’s Undergraduate Senate meeting, saying that he will take winter quarter off after fracturing his jaw in a Jan. 16 bike accident.

“You must be a student to participate, period,” Wharton said to the senators.

Kelsei Wharton, left, and Angelina Cardona (Stanford Daily File Photo).

He explained that he must give up his ASSU post and housing because he will not be enrolled winter quarter.

Wharton voiced his disappointment to the senators, stating that he “set out last April on a journey to complete a year as vice president.”

“I need to focus on my recovery,” he added.

His resignation became effective last week when he terminated his enrollment. Executive Angelina Cardona ’11 will select Wharton’s replacement, who will need to be confirmed by a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the Graduate Student Council (GSC). This same process took place last year when former vice president Jay de la Torre ’10 stepped down due to his suspension, the result of an honor code violation. This procedure was established last year in a bill passed by the 11th Undergraduate Senate.

“I think it takes a lot of strength,” Cardona said of Wharton’s decision. “I know on a personal level it was not an easy one to make. He and I have been partners since day one.”

Cardona, who was not present for Wharton’s announcement, later praised Wharton’s leadership and commitment to their shared vision for the ASSU.

“It’s definitely not easy to see him leave,” she said. “He will be thoroughly missed, both as a working partner and as one of my best friends.”

As for Wharton’s replacement, Cardona said that she plans to discuss her decision with other ASSU leaders, emphasizing her administration’s spirit of collaboration.

“I have been spending a lot of time this week thinking about who that individual will be,” Cardona said. “It will most likely be someone who is integrated into the ASSU team on some level.”

Wharton assured the senators Tuesday that he plans to remain active with ASSU through e-mail during his recovery, providing whatever support he can to ongoing projects.

In an interview with The Daily, Wharton described his accident, saying he lost control of his bike and collided with parked cars while biking during the morning of Jan. 16. After going to the hospital and having his jaw wired shut, he was unable to attend school for over a week.

“It could have been much worse,” Wharton said, saying that he remarkably did not suffer a concussion.

“I’m thankful that it was this isolated kind of injury that in many ways I can bounce back from,” he said.

But he added that it’s difficult to “bounce back” quickly enough to stay up to speed with the quarter system. He hopes to return spring quarter.

“I feel very confident in the work that we’ve been able to lay with the ASSU…I’m very confident that it will continue to be fruitful,” Wharton said. “I’m hoping the work I’ve been able to do this year is somewhat inspirational and motivates others.”

“Good things are going to keep coming,” Wharton told the senators yesterday about the future of ASSU.

“I’m sad to see Kelsei go,” Senate Chair Michael Cruz ’12 said. “He’s served the University really well and has been one of the best vice presidents I’ve seen. When he comes back he’ll be an amazing asset to the University once again.”

Cruz left Tuesday’s Senate meeting early to attend interviews for a new CEO of Stanford Student Enterprises (SSE). The current CEO of SSE, Raj Bhandari M.S. ’10, decided not to renew his contract for next year.

After Cruz’s departure, and in light of the absence of Deputy Chair Madeline Hawes ’13 for the same reason, Senator Juany Torres ’13 chaired the rest of Tuesday’s meeting.

The Senate passed a bill granting five extra days to student groups to submit the necessary financial information to apply for special fees in the 2010-2011 ASSU General Election; applications are now due Feb. 20.