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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Treasurer resigns after failure to communicate

Published: September 13, 2013
Section: News, Top Stories

In the wake of failed allocation of funding to several clubs on campus, lack of communication and threats of impeachment, Student Union Treasurer Sunny Aidasani ’14 has announced his official resignation to the Brandeis community.

Citing personal health concerns for his inability to fulfill the position of treasurer, Aidasani stated in an email to the community that these issues “are inhibiting me from performing my duties to the best of my ability, along with conflicting with my personal commitments.”

Student Union President Ricky Rosen ’14 notes Aidasani’s failure to respond to emails and other forms of communication from not only students, but also club leaders and administration figures, throughout the summer.

“Having not heard from our treasurer for four months, a lot of people on campus and lot of people in the Student Union were worried about the status of our treasury,” said Rosen, “At that point, since Sunny was virtually inaccessible, the only option that we had was to go to the Senate and present our case.”

Following a personal meeting with Aidasani, however, Rosen and the student executive board chose to allot the treasurer the opportunity to resolve these issues or resign if failing to do so, rather than pursue impeachment charges against him.

In addition to neglecting to respond to inquiries from students and administration, Rosen wrote,
“There were certain summer treasury responsibilities that Sunny did not have the time to attend to, such as dealing with the P-Card transaction, notifying club leaders about the results of allocations and purchasing supplies for the Union office and Romper Room.”

Jane Taschman ’14 was personally affected by Aidasani’s inability to perform his duties as Treasurer this past summer. Selected as a course evaluation guide editor, Taschman’s duties included sifting through and summarizing hundreds of evaluations of courses and professors.

“We were supposed to be paid half of our stipend at the beginning of the summer,” she said. Her compensation, however, never arrived. “After a while, I was just like, does this job even exist anymore?”

Attempts to contact Aidasani during the summer proved futile. Coupled with the absence of payment and technical failures of the submissions site, Taschman was unable to complete her duties. “I wasn’t doing it because I wasn’t being paid,” she stated.

Along with other course evaluation guide editors, Taschman contacted Rosen at the beginning of the semester. “I think Ricky’s been really understanding,” Taschman said, but after months of failing to respond, “Sunny had said we didn’t fill out the forms we needed to.” Taschman asserted that she completed them during the spring semester, and commented, “It seemed like they didn’t know it wasn’t our fault we weren’t getting paid.”

Amid the hectic schedule of classes and extracurricular obligations, Taschman is now faced with the daunting task of completing the evaluations during the semester. “We have to get this sorted out as soon as possible. The whole point is so that people can look at it while selecting their classes, but course selection will be over,” she explained.

With the close of the shopping period occurring on Monday, first-years and upperclassmen alike will no longer have the opportunity to use the updated evaluations as a resource when enrolling in classes.

In the wake of Aidasani’s resignation, Mohammed Ali ’14 will serve as the new interim Treasurer until a replacement candidate is elected, according to Rosen. Ali will work alongside a team of assistant treasurers previously compiled by Aidasani to handle finances.

“100 percent, I feel that Sunny was capable of performing the job,” Rosen said. “But ultimately, the decision for everyone came down to Sunny’s well-being and what is best for our student body.”

When questioned as to what methods the Union might employ to prevent similar failures from arising in the future, Rosen referenced a policy implemented last year. This policy essentially strips senate officers of their positions if they accumulated three absences at senate meetings. “We have discussed the possibility of instituting a policy like that for the E-Board. In addition we are exploring the idea of having E-Board members undergo performance evaluations with the president of the Union in situations like this when members statuses are in question,” Rosen said.

Campaigning will run Wednesday, Sept. 11 at midnight until Wednesday, Sept. 18 at midnight, according to Rosen, with a new treasurer to be elected shortly thereafter.

Despite the near impeachment and ultimate resignation of Aidasani, Rosen looks to the future with a positive mentality. “After a week or so of uncertainty, I feel that the treasury is on the right track, and we should be fine for the rest of the year,” he said.