With just two days left before the official turnover, Associated Students Internal Vice President-Elect Ian Taylor withdrew from his post on Monday, opting instead to transfer to UC Berkeley next year, leaving Students’ Party runner-up Matt Jackson to fill the position.
Taylor, a second-year linguistics major, originally won the position with 52.46 percent of the vote on April 26 and he is the second Open People’s Party candidate within the 2006-07 school year to reject the IVP post. The IVP presides over the Legislative Council and advises the A.S. President on all campus matters.
A.S. Advisor Pam Van Dyk said Taylor initially announced his withdrawal via an e-mail to A.S. Adviser Aaron Jones and A.S. Interim Executive Director Marilyn Dukes on May 21.
Van Dyk said since Taylor was not sworn in for the position, his resignation is the equivalent to a withdrawal from the election, which allows Jackson to assume the position.
“Because he’s withdrawing before the swearing-in ceremony, he is not in the position yet,” Van Dyk said. “It’s almost as if he’s still on the ballot and has withdrawn himself from the election.”
Taylor applied to UC Berkeley as a transfer student before the election, but said he did not make a final decision for next year during the campaign.
“At the time [attending Berkeley] was a clear plan B,” he said.
He also said he preferred the linguistics department at Berkeley.
“I really wanted to focus on academics rather than student government,” Taylor said. “After speaking with advisers from different campuses, I decided it would probably be best to make the shift.”
However, Taylor claimed his withdrawal stemmed not from his admittance to Berkeley and its honors program, but his belief that he could not devote the time required to the IVP position. He said he sent in his letter of intent to attend UC Berkeley approximately a week ago.
“The fact this Berkeley thing came up is unfortunate and it doesn’t have to do with the withdrawal,” Taylor said. “It was the time commitment.”
As for the runner-up, Jackson said he is eager to run next year’s Leg Council meetings.
“It’s an interesting situation,” Jackson, a third-year philosophy and law & society double major said. “I’m glad to be able to be here and fill in. If someone wasn’t, A.S. would be in trouble for Leg Council.”
Current A.S. President and last year’s executive OPP candidate, Jared Goldschen said he was disappointed with Taylor’s resignation. Unlike Taylor, former IVP and winner of last year’s spring election, OPP candidate Felix Hu, resigned months after his swearing in on Dec. 13, 2006 to study in Washington D.C. On-Campus Rep. and pro tempore Cecilia Perez assumed Hu’s position after his departure.
“I feel like there’s a curse between OPP and the IVP-elect,” Goldschen said. “OPP needs to be more careful when choosing candidates, given what happened with Felix and Ian. When interviewing candidates we need to stress the importance of making A.S. a top priority.”
A.S. President-elect Stephanie Brower, who ran on the OPP slate with Taylor, said she was stunned by his withdrawal. She said the first indication she had of his decision came from Facebook.com, and not Taylor himself.
“We became aware a couple days ago,” Brower said. “He alarmed all of us when he changed on Facebook what school he was attending; he added Berkeley. It seemed to unfold that he was going to transfer… I wasn’t privy to any knowledge ahead of time.”
Additionally, Brower said she was under the impression that transferring to Berkeley was not Taylor’s primary plan.
“My understanding was that it was a backup for this position,” Brower said. “I think all of us were quite shocked. The decision, to me, was not the best call, but that’s my opinion.”
Still, Brower said she is optimistic for next year.
“The truth of it is, I’m going to be a team with whoever is on the executive slate,” Brower said. “I’m not going to be deterred by this.”
Meanwhile, other students stated they were dismayed by Taylor’s decision. Junior business economics major Julie Shulse said she was confused by Taylor’s departure.
“I think it’s really sad that someone that has such a strong leadership position in our school is resigning to go to another UC,” Shulse said. “Is UCSB not good enough for him?”
Additionally, On-Campus Rep-elect Radhika Khosharay, who ran with SP, said she was upset with the situation, especially since Taylor did not inform the incoming council members of his decision.
“I think it’s irresponsible what he did, and I’m mad he didn’t tell us in person,” Khosharay said. “But I’m really happy for [Jackson]. He really cares and he’ll do a great job.”