Killian Richeson resigns as SGA Vice President; Michelle Vanhala to be sworn in Monday

A new Student Government Association vice president will be sworn in Monday night after Killian Richeson resigned Wednesday citing medical reasons.

Macomb junior and SGA President  Justin Gawronski said Sunday he plans to swear in Big Rapids senior and current Senate leader Michelle Vanhala at Monday night's SGA meeting. As Senate leader, Vanhala is in the order of succession to be the new SGA Vice President.

Although not set in stone, Gawronski said SGA also plans to elect a new Senate leader Monday night. However, if the election is postponed, Vanhala will serve as both vice president and Senate leader until the latter position is filled.

Richeson's resignation marks the second time a vice president has stepped down in Gawronski's administration. Alma junior Anna Dvorak, Gawronski's initial vice president, resigned in late March, seven days after her inauguration, for personal reasons.

Richeson was an integral part of Gawronski's administration. In the fall semester, Richeson enhanced communication between the SGA and the Academic Senate.

This led to Gawronski playing a key role in SGA passing legislation against the proposed academic calendar, which would have changed the upcoming fall semester from 16 to 15 weeks. The legislation caused the academic senate to charge Provost Gary Shapiro with reviewing the changes and preparing a report, which was released on Friday.

Richeson's resignation was his decision, Gawronski said.

"This is something completely unexpected," Gawronski said. "This is not the most ideal of situations. Just for the broader aspects, I don't want anyone to think this kind of turnover is appropriate, and I don't want anyone to lose confidence in the SGA because of this."

Gawronski said he believes Richeson's resignation will cause little or no disruption in SGA.

"Michelle Vanhala is respected within the SGA. People won't bat an eyelash at this," Gawronski said.

Vanhala said she is not looking to insert her own agenda into the position but is hoping to provide stability.

"Continuity is what I want to emphasize," Vanhala said. "I'm not going to be ambitious. I just want to keep doing what Killian has been doing."

Vanhala has had considerable experience within SGA. Along with being the Senate leader during Gawronski's administration, she has been a member of the House, served as senator and was a leader of the Academic Affairs Committee.

Vanhala said the main goal of her vice presidency will be to prepare SGA for the upcoming year.

"My goal for this semester is to get SGA ready for elections next year," Vanhala said. "We're starting to think about who will lead SGA next."

Richeson could not be reached for comment Sunday.


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