Slightly more than a week ago, Michigan Student Assembly President Jesse Levine nominated Nicole Stallings to replace the resigning vice president Alicia Benavides. But before Levine could call consent for the nomination from the representatives at the first MSA meeting of the year yesterday, the assembly had lost another member.
By the time Stallings started her official term as vice president of the assembly, MSA Rep. Stuart Wagner had resigned. Wagner, an LSA junior who has earned notoriety amongst his colleagues for his dynamic nature, officially resigned at last night’s meeting, saying that he wished to pursue other interests.
“I’d like to start learning something at this university, and going to class and doing the reading and studying, instead of cramming the night before,” Wagner said.
Wagner said he also decided to leave his position as a representative in order to concentrate his efforts on his work as chair of the Campus Improvement Commission, a commission within MSA.
Wagner said that the Campus Improvement Commission has not done much in the past, but has been used as a stepping stone position to establish a place within the assembly. Levine was campus improvement commission chair his freshman year.
Wagner said that he hopes to change the way the CIC works, adding that many of the most dedicated commission members become MSA executives, leaving the commissions with students that were not as committed to the student government.
During his time on MSA, Wagner was seen as one of the most vocal and visual members of the assembly.
In July, Wagner protested a bill before the Ann Arbor City Council that he said it forced unjust limits on students by presenting the City Council with ear-plugs as a gift to symbolize his feeling that the council members were not listening to students.
MSA General Counsel Russ Garber expressed disappointment to Wagner’s resignation.
“We respect that Stu is doing what makes him happy, not what we feel he should do,” Garber said.
Wagner said his hope in stepping down is that he can really accomplish something with his commission, and motivate others to follow his example.
“My message is, if you’re not going to do anything on the assembly, you should step down. I just feel like I could be doing more as a commission chair,” Wagner said.
RC senior Ryan Bates, chair of the Peace and Justice Commission, said Wagner would be missed by the assembly.
Levine thanked Wagner for his time and devotion to MSA, and told the assembly that he had changed the institution for the better.
“(Wagner) has put in his best effort, 10-fold,” Levine said.
MSA Rep. Arielle Linsky said Wagner’s resignation was a great loss to the assembly, and that she regretted that she couldn’t change his mind about resigning.
“Stu has been an amazing asset to MSA,” Linsky said.
Stu said that he had no regrets about his involvement with the assembly, but that he really felt that it was time to do something different to improve the culture on campus.