Makayla Glass, vice president of Shippensburg University’s Student Government Association (SGA), has resigned from her position and will no longer serve as president next year because of a mistake made during last week’s elections.
Glass accidentally shared information about the progress of senator positions while the election was ongoing. An email from an SGA member about what was overheard was sent to Elections Chair Evan Redding and President Logan Wein.
“Sensitive information regarding the progress of specific position[s] during elections was accidentally overshared mid-conversation,” Glass said in an interview with The Slate on Sunday.
The incident was shared with the Executive Rules Committee (ERC) and SGA advisers — Office of Social Equity Director Danny Velez, Student Association Fiscal Officer Darrell Miller and Sarah Schenk, assistant director for student group services and leadership development — to determine the next steps. All of the information was reported internally, and the complaint did not take place between candidates.
“It is difficult to say what, if any, effect this incident had on voting results. I am proud of the SGA for their leadership in responding to this incident quickly and transparently,” Velez said.
After a meeting between the entire SGA and its advisers, a decision was made to redo the election process to make sure students’ votes were not compromised.
Wein and Redding said Glass was involved with handling the situation, and was forthcoming from the beginning about her mistake. Glass said she had expected to step down from the vice presidency and next year’s presidency.
“I hope that the members of SGA and the university community understand that my actions had absolutely no malicious intent to harm or benefit anyone involved, or the process in general,” Glass said in a letter of resignation received by The Slate.
Glass has been involved with SGA since she transferred to SU from Kutztown after her freshman year.
As vice president, Glass was involved in restructuring numerous rules and regulations to make them more beneficial for student groups.
One of her major accomplishments was improving SHIP Link, an online platform for student groups to communicate with one another.
She also spearheaded a policy that allows students to have a say in the outside vendors that table in the Ceddia Union Building. She had recently been working on another policy that would allow groups to sell homemade goods for on-campus fundraisers.
Although tensions ran high at its meeting — with some senators emotional over Glass’ resignation — SGA came to the consensus that her departure was necessary to respect the organization’s constitution and bylaws.
“It was sad for a lot of people to put themselves in that position and do what they had to do, but it was needed,” Glass said. “I don’t really know anything other than SGA. It’s heartbreaking that I won’t be involved.”
An email was sent to candidates after the meeting to discuss what happened, why there has to be another election, and that the second election process will be the same as the first.
The ERC has decided not to choose an interim vice president. However, Schenk will help with student group management, and the Student Groups and Activities Committee will continue its work without Glass as its chair, Wein said.
Glass’ plans for next year are uncertain. She said she will continue to cheer on SGA and work with the organization however she can.
Wein said Glass is hard-working and did a great job transforming the role of vice president.
“I think students can admire what she has done, and it’s part of being a student leader to own up to what you’ve done,” he said.