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SG launches investigation, fills vacant executive vice president position

Barron Roth was chosen as student government vice president Friday after Melesilika Finau stepped down. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRON ROTH
Barron Roth was chosen as student government vice president Friday after Melesilika Finau stepped down. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRON ROTH

After launching an investigation to fill the seat that Executive Vice President-elect Melesilika Finau from the slate True BU vacated, the Boston University Student Government announced Friday night that Barron Roth of the BUtiful Dreamers slate will fill the position.

On Thursday afternoon, SG Judicial Commissioner Louis Vitti offered the position to Matthew Sgrignari, a sophomore in the Questrom School of Business, who received the second-most amount of votes for the position and ran on the TeamBU slate. Sgrignari declined the position, opening it up for Roth.

“I sort of knew it was coming by hearing through the grapevine. I feel good and [have] general good thoughts,” said Roth, a junior in the College of Engineering. “It’s just sort of funny, and I’m glad it happened.”

Members of the Judicial Commission offered him the position at approximately 3:20 p.m. on Friday with a 5 p.m. deadline to make a decision, Roth said.

Stephen Chang, the SG senate chair, said there had not been a precedence for addressing this type of situation in the constitution.

“The decision [to offer VP to Matt] was mainly made by the Judicial Commission, that is what I heard from their deliberation,” said Chang, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. “This has never happened before, accepting the position at first but then not taking it at all.”

SG’s constitution states that members of the executive board do not officially begin their terms until the day after university commencement, Vitti wrote in a Thursday memo. As a result of “constitutional interpretation,” the Judicial Commission decided to offer the position to the runner-up in the election.

Roth initially came in third place in the election for executive vice president, receiving 530 of the 2,250 votes, which is about 24 percent of the total vote casted for executive vice president position in the SG elections, the Student Election Commission website states.

Chang said he was notified of Finau’s resignation on April 20.

Finau said her resignation is a result of “a personal underestimation” of her limitations, believing that the rest of her running mates will do justice to each of their positions.

“I had no intention to resign. But after we won, and our slate began to prepare to take on the responsibilities of stugov [Student Government], I saw that this position, in order to do it justice, requires a constant presence, that with my schedule next semester, I will be unable to provide,” Finau, a sophomore in CAS, wrote in an email.

Finau won the election with approximately 50 percent of the vote for the position.

“I do not take this resignation lightly, and I am sorry to anyone I let down. But ultimately, I feel that if I stayed on as execvp [executive vice president], I would only hinder my fellow slate members in accomplishing our goals for the year,” she said. “I truly desire only the best for my slate, student government and the student body.”

Sgrignari, while confirming to The Daily Free Press that he had turned down the position, declined to comment about his reasons for doing so.

SG wanted to have the position vacancy filled prior to a town hall meeting scheduled for Monday that will be hosted by the incoming executive board members, Chang said. Considering Roth for the position was one of the possible options, he said.

Roth said he has already been in contact with the other elected members of the 2015-16 executive board, and he looks forward to working with them.

“I totally respect that they have planned, but they are completely okay with me pursuing some of my personal platform goals, so I’m pretty grateful for that,” he said. “I see just pure positive. It’s sort of unfortunate that I’m not with my slate, but I’m really more than comfortable working with anybody. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

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