Burnes Comes Clean

By Preston Burnes

SGA Vice President

Welcome back to beautiful and wintry Hamilton. It’s great to see everyone back and refreshed. I had the opportunity to come back more than a week early and saw the miracle that was 60 degree weather on January 13, which just has to be a good omen for our semester ahead. Well, getting down to business, I think many of you can guess why I am writing a column in this week’s Maroon-News. Whether you heard about it in the beginning or read the article in this paper, you surely know by now that I faced charges that could have led to my impeachment from the office of SGA vice-president at the last senate meeting of the Fall semester.

I will neither bore you with the details of what happened nor try to color your perceptions of it with an opinionated commentary. I pressured one of the executive board members to make a nomination he was not comfortable with, and that was wrong not only as vice president but as a person as well. I have apologized to the individuals involved and sincerely apologize to each of you, the members of the Colgate community, who have trusted me to serve you in the most professional manner possible.

The result of the senate hearing, as you may know, was that my impeachment did not pass. Instead a resolution asking for my resignation was presented and passed by one vote. After a good amount of consideration, discussion with friends and advisors, and personal reflection, I have decided that it would not further the goals of SGA to heed this call to resign my post as vice-president. There are many reasons that I believe this to be the prudent action, the least of which are any sort of personal motives. I have recognized my failures and truly believe that what I have learned from them can aid SGA as it heads in a new, more positive direction. This was not an easy decision to come to, but I genuinely believe that resigning would have been detrimental to the final three months of this administration, especially with the table set to accomplish so much this semester.

As we move forward, there are many interesting things ready to happen in the coming weeks. The frequency and structure of senate meetings will change almost immediately, and we will continue to move forward with the overhaul of the constitution. We will continue to address issues such as athletic support, financial allocations, improved communication around campus, and invigoration of our campus media. A priority, though, is going to be responding to fresh issues that we hope to discover at our first-ever Issues Forum, which we invite you all to attend on Monday, February 6. We will be open to any ideas, problems, questions or complaints that we will vote on. Ultimately, SGA is yours, and I hope that many of you will use this avenue to take advantage of what it can do for you.

Thank you for your continued support of SGA, and if you have the time, stop by your senator’s room and thank him or her for the time and energy he or she devoted to you last semester. It has truly been an exciting group to work with and I think you will all be impressed with what they will accomplish in the months ahead.