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Jude Udeozor, GPSC EVP, to step in instead of joint presidency with AVP

Tom Price

(From left to right) Zachary Brooks, Jude Udeozor, Wei-Ren Ng and Ezra Smith listen during discussion at the Graduate and Professional Student Council meeting in the Pima room at the Student Union Memorial Center on Thursday, Aug. 25. Udeozor will be stepping in as GPSC president after Brooks’ resignation goes into effect.

Only one of the Graduate and Professional Student Council’s vice presidents will assume the presidency, despite the GPSC Constitution which states that both vice presidents will jointly assume the role.

Current GPSC President Zach Brooks is resigning from the seat effective Sept. 27.

In a Sept. 9 email obtained by the Daily Wildcat, GPSC’s Executive Vice President Jude Udeozor announced to GPSC representatives that he alone would be assuming the role of president.

“Jasmine [Sears], myself and GPSC advisors have had [a] couple of discussions this week,” Udeozor wrote. “We believe that co-presidency or jointly assuming the role of the president may not be the best direction for GPSC at this time.”

Udeozor went on to say that he will resign from his post as executive vice president and be sworn in as GPSC’s president on Sept. 27 when current president Zachary Brooks’ resignation becomes official.

RELATED: Future of GPSC up in the air after president resigns

In the email he also states that a special election will be held for the position of executive vice president, possibly in October.

“GPSC needs a president, executive vice-president and administrative vice president to run its affairs as this is an important academic year for graduate and professional students,” Udeozor said in the email.

GPSC’s Administrative Vice President Jasmine Sears said she decided against becoming co-president after her conversations with Udeozor, Senior Assistant Dean of Students Chris Hargraves, Associate Dean of Students Chrissy Lierbeman and Dean of Students Kendal Washington White.

“The five of us discussed basically what the challenges would be of having co-presidents as opposed to a single president, what the benefits would be, what would happen if only one of us decided to be president,” Sears said.

Sears said both Udeozor and herself agreed a single president would be best, and Udeozor stepped up to the position.

“The president’s role is a lot more similar to the executive vice president’s role,” Sears said.

While Udeozor has only been with GPSC since April, he said in his email to the general council that he experienced some of the president’s roles over the summer.

“I know that this would be a learning process for me, but it would be a much easier one because I have been fortunate to assume some of the roles of the president on several occasions over the last five months,” Udeozor wrote.

Current GPSC president Zachary Brooks, while hopeful for the council’s future, said he thought it was troublesome that the GPSC constitution does not provide for a special election to fill a vacated president position.

RELATED: GPSC President Zachary Brooks resigns.

“I’m concerned just about the lack of votes for the position but this is the by-laws that the GPSC passed earlier in the spring … so this is what we have to go with,” Brooks said.

GPSC’s governing documents will be a topic of discussion for the general council this upcoming year, according to Sears. Decisions by the general council could potentially create a graduate student supreme court and provide for a special election of a president in upcoming years.

Follow Michelle Jaquette on Twitter.

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