At a senate meeting on Sept. 16, Rachel Cauwels’ appointment to become student body vice president was denied in a vote of 3 to 6. Three senators abstained from the vote.
Cauwels, a junior psychology major with a double minor in global politics and organizational and strategic communication, was formerly appointed to the position at a senate meeting on Sept. 2. The appointment was revoked on Sept. 16, removing her from the position effective immediately due to a transparency issue; the correct documentation had not been made available to the public regarding the appointment.
Student Body President Emily Gregory reintroduced Cauwels during the Sept. 16 meeting to repeat the appointment process, this time after publicly producing the correct documentation. However, Cauwels’ appointment did not pass.
The vote took place during part of a two and a half hour meeting that featured contentious dialogue between members of the senate.
Between Cauwels’ former appointment being revoked at the beginning of the meeting and initiating the revote, former members of SGA, senators and a member of the student body commented on actions Cauwels took as VP during the last academic year.
Students who spoke referenced Cauwels’ engagement with a Black Lives Matter resolution that was introduced during the Spring 2021 semester. During a senate meeting in February, Cauwels — as VP — addressed senate to express concerns on the resolution stemming from the intention and verbiage of the proposed document.
During the appointment process, senators asked Cauwels about the resolution, as well as her goals and motivation for running again. According to Cauwels, her time as VP last academic year was impacted by the pandemic but set her up with the appropriate experience to assume the role again.
Regarding her working relationship with student government, Cauwels said, “If you’re asking how I’m planning on mending my relationship with people, I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s possible.
I think some of the things that have been done here today are irrevocable, which is really sad because in the past, SGA has been a great resource for students,” Cauwels said of the meeting.