SGA president resigns discreetly


Chris Butler

UPDATED: On Nov. 29, SGA published a statement regarding Hostert’s resignation.

In an unexpected announcement to the student Senate last week, Nathan Hostert resigned from his position as Student Government Association president, making Executive Vice President Dylan Balcom the Association’s chief executive.

During a Nov. 19 address to the Student Government Association, or SGA, Senate, Hostert attributed his decision to several unspecified personal reasons.

“It is with a heavy heart that I say that I am officially stepping down as Student Body President. This decision is motivated by a number of personal reasons which I won’t delve into,” Hostert said in his address, according to meeting minutes obtained by The News. “I am doing so for what I believe is best for both my well-being and also for this association.”

According to the minutes, which were sent to The News by a former SGA member, Executive Director of Communications Victoire Cointy told members to refrain from making Hostert’s resignation public.

SGA has yet to make a public statement regarding the resignation.

“If you could please refrain from telling everyone about it, not because it is top-secret and we don’t want to tell people, but respect Nathan’s time, respect that he is doing this,” Cointy told the Senate, according to the meeting minutes.

In an email sent to The News on Nov. 27, the former SGA member, who asked to remain anonymous to protect his reputation, discussed concerns of the association’s clandestine handling of the situation thus far.

“This is particularly concerning, knowing that the Student Body has not been informed of its new representative to the University administration,” said the email.

Hostert declined to comment on the issue of secrecy.

The anonymous source highlighted that this resignation follows a controversial referendum process and just under 2,000 votes of “no confidence” out almost 8,000 total votes in the 2018 Direct Election.

While the circumstances surrounding Hostert’s departure are unclear, the meeting minutes show that no senators asked questions following Hostert’s announcement.

“This is concerning because it suggests that SGA has essentially lost all of its momentum to the point that it can’t even promote interest from within its most important branch,” read the email from the former SGA member.

Some view this as a reflection of an overarching communication issue between SGA and the student body.

“We worked really hard to make SGA as transparent to the student body, and to make SGA have this active presence with the student body,” said fourth-year biochemistry major Collin Walter, the former executive director of communications for SGA. “And to see most of the initiatives that we enacted last year effectively discontinued is extremely disappointing.”

Hostert said that he was aware of SGA’s general lack of communication coming into his presidency, and said that he knew there would need to be “huge changes, and we did that.”

The anonymous source said additionally the Hostert administration attempted “to promote a friendly, care-free environment within the Association through the appointment of friends, rather than qualified individuals.”

Hostert said that all appointed members of his administration were approved either unanimously or by a wide majority of the previous semester’s leaders.

Choosing a person who is best qualified doesn’t necessarily mean they are already a member SGA,” Hostert said. “I couldn’t be more proud of this leadership team.”

Succeeding Hostert, according to SGA’s constitution, is Dylan Balcom, who will simultaneously maintain his elected position until he nominates a new Executive Vice President, who would need to be elected by the Senate.

Several SGA board members will meet Nov. 29 to discuss the processes moving forward, said Balcom. He could not confirm who will be nominated as Executive Vice President or that an nomination will occur.

“We’re going to take time to reevaluate,” Balcom said.

Overall, Hostert is satisfied with the work his administration has completed throughout his time as president.

“I’m really proud of the work we’ve gotten done in the past six months,” he said.

Senate Minutes 11:19