Ehtasham Bhatti, the treasurer of Baruch’s Undergraduate Student Government, formally announced his resignation during the Oct. 24 senate meeting. Bhatti, who is an accounting major, said at the meeting that his resignation was necessary after examining the growing commitments in both his academic workload and family life. Chair of Appeals Suzanna Egan will be taking over the role, determined after being nominated by the table and confirmed by the executive board during the meeting.
Bhatti’s last working day as treasurer will be on Nov. 9, directly following the board of directors meeting.
Bhatti’s resignation comes after a three-year tenure in USG. His career in student government started his freshman year with his involvement in the appeals committee, where he became vice chair after a semester. Following that, he was a representative senator for two years, being named vice president of legislative affairs in the second year.
In an interview with The Ticker, Bhatti explained: “When I first took on the role of treasurer, when I was sworn into office and everything in between … I did have high hopes for myself, just to be able to foster club life and better the financial and fiscal processes between administration, students and clubs.”
He went on to say that, as the semester drew on, his familial and academic obligations became more overwhelming and, with an internship offer at Baker Tilly this winter, the position would be better suited for someone who can commit more to the role.
In an official statement, Executive President Isabel Arias stated: “Serving as treasurer for the Undergraduate Student Government is an extremely time-consuming job. Unfortunately with his current and upcoming commitments, Ehtasham didn’t feel he was able to continue adequately in the role. We are extremely thankful for the contributions Ehtasham has offered in his time as treasurer, and the help he has offered to give during our transition into bringing in our new treasurer.”
Assistant Director of Student Life Savanna Ramsey commented on the training that USG treasurers are required to go through, which includes the student getting in contact with the previous treasurer and the bursar in order to prime themselves for the position. Since treasurers are essentially responsible for the budgets of around 100 clubs and the massive operational and programming budgets of USG itself, the position is among one of the most difficult on the board. Ramsey says, “Upfront, there’s quite a bit of initial training but anyone in this role continues to receive training and has weekly or biweekly meetings with Student Life to check in and assist in any necessary way.”
During the weekly senate meeting, the executive board — which includes Arias, Executive Vice President Derny Fleurima and Executive Secretary Andrea Valverde — nominated Egan as the next treasurer for USG. Egan, who is currently a representative senator and the chair of appeals, accepted the nomination.
She was confirmed by the table with a vote of 14-1-2.
In this circumstance, the table forgoes the election process that is typically associated with representative senator and board positions in order to speed things up and make sure that there was no moment in which the role of treasurer was empty.
Vice Chair of Appeals Emma Jorgensen will be serving as interim chair of appeals until a new chair is elected.
The USG Constitution states — in Article 8, Section 4d — that “prior to any vacancy being filled, there must be at least two (2) weeks public notice made and addressed to the Undergraduate Student Body.” In the case of usual in-house elections, this results in USG sharing a post to its social media platforms, like Facebook or Instagram, urging students who fit the requirements to apply for the position. According to Ramsey, public notices “include but are not limited to meeting minutes, social media or newspaper postings.”
Notice has been made of the treasurer position resignation on Facebook, along with the link to the USG website — www.usg-bearcat.com. In the post, students were also provided with instructions on how to access the recently published meetings of the last three weeks.
The position of representative senator is actively being marketed in anticipation of the vacancy. However, Egan still holds the position and will continue to do so until Nov. 9.