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FAC chair-elect resigns

In February, Sasha Mochida ’19 mounted a successful write-in campaign to be elected Financial Affairs Chair (FAC) for the upcoming 2017-18 academic year.

Now — just a month-and-a-half after her victory and five months before she could take office — Mochida has resigned.

Mochida informed Macalester Director of Campus Operations Joan Maze, MCSG President Merrit Stüven ’17 and current FAC Chair Sydney Keiler ’17 of her decision on Wednesday, March 22.

Mochida said that she felt that she would not have time to perform the duties of FAC chair next year.

“FAC chair is a fifteen-plus hour commitment [per week], and next year as a sophomore, I’m going to be an RA,” Mochida said. “I’m also going to be a preceptor. On top of that, I am a biology and chemistry major. So I just don’t have time.”

Mochida began to have misgivings about her ability to do the job after her first meeting with Maze the week following her election.

“When I went in for my first meeting with Joan and the current FAC chair, they basically said ‘this is a lot of work,’” Mochida said. “It’s the most amount of work for all the MCSG positions.”

Mochida was unaware of the time commitment involved with the job when she mounted her write-in campaign. MCSG does not provide job descriptions to candidates for positions in the organization.

The FAC manages the money that comes from student activity fee and is responsible for funding student organizations and other events and programs at Macalester. The chair oversees the committee, which typically has nine members.

“I would say that it’s the most notable [committee], maybe, because it seems to be the thing that students care most about,” said Keiler. “This is always the committee that gets the most attention from the entirety of the student body.”

Mochida did not want to wait to make her decision.

“I wanted to resign before it was too late for another election, because I thought that [not having an election until next year] would be more difficult for people actually to transition into it,” Mochida said.

Maze told The Mac Weekly in an email that a special election for FAC chair will be held when class representatives are chosen in May. MCSG announced the new election on last Monday, March 27.

Mochida said she is considering running for a class representative position.

“I really do enjoy leadership roles, and I really want to contribute back to the student community,” Mochida said. “I also want to contribute back to the people who voted for me, because I love helping people. It’s my favorite thing to do.”

There is a fear that the FAC chair position might not be filled.

“I’m a little concerned,” Keiler said. “I, over three years, have put a lot of work into this. This is the thing I’ve done at Macalester. And it’s a little bit of a bummer to think that I wasn’t good at showing people why this is something to be passionate about.”

Though the FAC chair races do not often draw more than two candidates, this lack of interest is unprecedented in Keiler’s time at the school. “I don’t think we’ve ever been in this position where we might not have a chair,” Keiler said. “I hope someone will step up if we get to that point.”

Already, the absence of an FAC chair-elect is being felt. FAC chair-elects have traditionally been involved and gotten a vote in the org budgeting process that was completed last week, but with no chair-elect, that was not the case this year.

Beyond that, whoever wins the upcoming election for FAC chair will have to be brought up to speed exceedingly quickly. Keiler said that, if no one runs, a returning MCSG member could take over the committee next year.

She said she hopes that is not the case. “It’s worth it,” Keiler said of her current position. “I really think it’s worth it. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it. People should do it.”

March 31, 2017

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