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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Commuter-at-large resigns from University Student Senate

Mashliakevich served as commuter at-large for over a year. PHOTO: LUKE MALANGA ’20/THE HAWK

Margarita Mashliakevich ’22 resigned from the University Student Senate (USS) commuter at-large position on Oct. 27 after being involved in the incident in the commuter lounge on Oct. 11.

Mashliakevich was one of four students involved in the incident which left the commuter lounge in disarray. The students stacked ottomans and side tables to the ceiling and hung glow sticks in an outlet and from sprinklers.

Adam Mullin ’20, president of USS, Julia McQuade ’20, vice president of USS, and Mashliakevich had a meeting on Oct. 25 and decided Mashliakevich’s resignation was best for the commuter population.

“We felt that her role is to be the liaison between the senate and the commuters and the representation of the commuter community, and that relationship was damaged,” McQuade said. “We needed to reopen that role to someone who could better communicate their needs.”

Mashliakevich said she was involved in Student Senate for over a year and was happy to have been able to change something for the better, but she decided resigning and allowing someone else to take over the position was best for the commuter community.

“I know my potential and I know that I could’ve done a lot more, but by force of circumstances, I am choosing to resign from my position as an at-large senator,” Mashliakevich said. “I do think that I did a lot for the commuter community and Senate but unfortunately our society is shaped the way that no matter how much one tries, one cannot please each and everyone.”

USS voted unanimously to accept Mashliakevich’s resignation on Oct. 28.

Mullin and McQuade hope to fill the commuter at-large position by the Nov. 18 meeting at the latest.

“We are [reaching] out to Nancy [Komada, Ph.D., director of the Office of Student Transitions] and the executive board, Hawks in Flight, and the rest of the commuter population [with] our typical senator at large application,” Mullin said. “We will solicit for about a week or two and then go into interviews to fill the position hopefully within the next two weeks.”

In the meantime, Taylor Stokes ’22, USS secretary for inclusion and equity, will serve as interim commuter at large.

“St. Joe’s in its history has been a commuter population and has moved over time to a highly residential school,” Mullin said. “It’s important that we don’t lose sight of the fact that many students still do commute. We need to better understand the needs of commuter students and have their voices heard to what problems, concerns, ideas, [they] specifically face and affect their subsect of the greater student body.”

Both McQuade and Mullin believe the commuter at-large position brings a needed diverse voice to senate which influenced their decision to have Mashliakevich resign to allow a new representative represent the community.

“It’s an attempt to bring more representation and resources to a community that often can be ignored in the process otherwise,” McQuade said. “It’s important because they experience different issues, they go through a different experience on campus.”

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