Two members of the Student Governance Council executive board will be stepping down from their positions at the end of Fall 2019.
Both sophomore Reed Pollard, vice president of academic affairs, and junior Connor Shea, vice president of campus affairs, are leaving their positions on the SGC to participate in study abroad programs.
Pollard and Shea were elected to the SGC executive board in April 2019. Executive board positions are typically held for a full academic year.
Pollard said he will be participating in the Disney College Program next semester. The program allows for students to gain on-the-job experience by working in Disney’s theme parks and completing college–level coursework.
“The Disney College Program is something that I’ve always really wanted to do,” Pollard said. “I wanted to do it since I was a kid. … If I got it now, I might not get it in the future, so I thought I should take this opportunity as it comes.”
Pollard said he hopes to return to the SGC next year. He said it was hard for him to choose between the Disney program and his position in the SGC.
“It was very difficult,” Pollard said. “It was very stressful. I couldn’t decide right before I had to commit I almost didn’t do it. It was very back and forth.”
He first joined the SGC during his freshman year as the Class of 2022 senator. As Class of 2022 senator, he was part of the Campus Affairs Committee and passed bills restructuring the committee.
Shea said he first joined the SGC because he was a transfer student from Boston Conservatory at Berklee in Boston, and his mentor, Jessica Gallagher ’19, was aware of his previous involvement with student government in high school. She suggested that he apply for the transfer senator position in the SGC. Shea said he liked the community of the SGC and speaking up about what he believes in.
As transfer senator, Shea said, he learned about the resources available for transfer students. He said he used the platform to speak with heads of the New Student and Transition Programs and collaborate on ways to improve transfer students’ experiences.
Shea said he is participating in the college’s Los Angeles program for communications major or minor students to gain professional experience and take classes at the James B. Pendleton Center. He said he hopes to return to the SGC next year.
Shea said the decision to choose between the SGC and the study abroad program was difficult for him. He said in no way was his resigning due to negative experiences with the SGC. Shea said him leaving the SGC is unrelated to Pollard’s resignation at the same time.
Senior SGC President Farwa Shakeel said the applications for both vice president of campus affairs and vice president of academic affairs will be available this week on Intercom so it can be public.
“My goal was to have somebody confirmed before the end of the semester so that next semester we can jump right in and establish new goals,” Shakeel said.
Shakeel said she respects both Pollard and Shea’s decisions to take leaves of absence from the SGC and pursue study abroad programs.
“I think they are both making decisions that are best for them in their careers,” Shakeel said. “I respect that, and I never want to hold them back from pursuing what’s best for them.”