LSA junior Meagan Shokar, Central Student Government vice president, announced in a statement Friday afternoon she would be stepping down from her position in CSG.
Shokar was elected last winter by the student body, along with her presidential running mate, Public Policy senior Bobby Dishell, for the 2014-2015 academic year.
The statement, released on social media, cited an injury and resulting treatment plan as the reason for the decision, and thanked the student body and University administration for their support during her time in CSG, as well as Dishell for his understanding.
In an interview Saturday, Shokar said she is disappointed to be stepping down from the role, but wants to ensure her replacement can be fully dedicated to the role’s responsibilities, both in terms of time and physical ability to get the job done, which she said she is unable to do at the moment.
“At this point, I’m taking my life back to basics,” she said. “And that means classes, and my treatment, and there’s not really much else I can do right now.”
Both Shokar and Dishell indicated in a separate social media announcement that they would like to see LSA senior Emily Lustig succeed Shokar. Lustig was a co-chair of Make Michigan, the party Dishell and Shokar ran with in the CSG elections. She has also served as the chair of the CSG Campus Safety and Security Commission for two years.
“She’s always cared about CSG, especially about the students in general, in so many ways and so much,” Shokar said. “She’s just an extraordinary leader, and I’ve just been so privileged to work with her.”
In an interview Friday, Dishell said Lustig is the clear choice to fill the position.
“She’s incredibly well-versed in CSG, has worked on a variety of successful initiatives, I’ve worked closely with her in the past both in high pressure situations and also low pressure situations,” he said. “She’s a great writer, great messenger and just gives a really great perspective that’s very different from mine on all sorts of events that happened on campus and things that come up during the year.”
In a statement on Facebook, Lustig thanked Shokar for her dedication, passion and hard work in CSG, and stated that she would be proud to assume the role.
Dishell said they chose to issue the announcement and related statements on social media because of the nature of the decision.
“It’s a personal issue, and we went ahead and made a statement,” he said. “There’s various medias in which we make statements, and as you know, social media is one way to go on the record about something, so that’s why we decided to go that way.”
To officially replace Shokar, Lustig will first be vetted by the CSG Executive Nominations Committee, which will make a recommendation to the full CSG Assembly. She will then need to be approved by the Assembly with a simple majority vote, according to CSG interim counsel Justin Kingsolver, a Law School student. The vote on Lustig’s confirmation could occur as early as the first CSG meeting of the year on Tuesday.
Dishell said there was an internal vetting process with several candidates prior to the choice to put Lustig forward for the position. He said he learned of Shokar’s decision to step down relatively recently, but he added that he felt there was enough notice.
“It was somewhat recent, but not something that’s been going on for a very long time,” Dishell said. “It’s not a big secret we’ve kept.”
Both Dishell and Shokar have worked on several initiatives for CSG during the summer, including the Night Owl bus route and the Wolverine Support Network, which focuses on supplementing mental health resources on campus. Both initiatives came from the running mates’ campaign platform.
Shokar said she plans to remain involved in an advisory capacity with CSG to whatever extent she’s able to, notably with the Wolverine Support Network project. Dishell said he didn’t anticipate any delays in the initiatives despite the transition, and added that Lustig has previously been involved in much of their planning and implementation.
“(I’m) fully confident in Emily’s abilities, and very sad to see Meagan go, but looking forward to continuing to work hard for the student body,” he said.