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    Two resign from USG

    Allen Abraham, president of clubs and organizations, and Farjad Fazli, vice president of communications, resigned from the Undergraduate Student Government effective immediately during Thursday’s Senate meeting.

    Although both officers attributed their decisions mostly to time constraints, several anonymous sources said the two were a part of an internal audit conducted regarding illegal payroll attempts; illegal as of Undergraduate Student Government, USG, standards. Fazli also said he was uncomfortable with USG’s “political games.”

    Fazli and Abraham admitted that there were payroll discrepancies, but they said there were not related to their resignation. They also said there was no special reason for resigning at the same time.

    Two USG officials say otherwise, referring to the internal audit.

    Abraham, who coordinated the USG Leadership Conference in September, said the issue arose after he asked one of Fazli’s street team employees to help him out at that event, but he said there were no illegal payments because he cannot hire assistants.

    According to Subchapter IV in the USG Code, the responsibilities of the employees of the Office of Communications “shall assist the same in his duties, and it shall be the responsibility of the Vice-President to insure that its staff’s duties are executed in accordance with this subchapter.”

    “[The discrepancy] was ratified. No wrong money was paid out,” Fazli said. “In practice, nothing wrong was done.”

    USG President Mark Maloof said he could not comment on the specifics of the resignations at this time, but he said the officers were not facing the threat of impeachment as of last week.

    “When I ran for office, I did so knowing that if I won, I would be responsible for protecting both the students and their student activity fees,” Maloof said. “I want to assure the student body I have worked hard to do so. A couple of weeks ago, I became aware of some payroll discrepancies. I took all necessary action to protect the student’s fees, which limited the damage that was done.”

    Fazli said he didn’t know what the USG was before running for the position in the spring, so he didn’t realize how much work the position would require and didn’t know what the political environment would be.

    “There’s a lot of political drama in the USG. There’s politicking and political games, and I don’t particularly care for that,” Fazli said. “I am very happy and feel liberated now that I have resigned. I was a newcomer to USG and not familiar with the acrimonious climate. Knowing what I do now about its leadership, I would never have set foot anywhere near them.”

    Maloof now has two weeks to appoint new officers. A new election would only be required if the officers had resigned on or before Oct. 31, according to the USG Constitution.

    In his resignation letter, Fazli said USG officers focus too much on politicking, but he didn’t give a specific example or mention any names.

    “There are people in this organization who have lost perspective and have allowed themselves to be consumed by it,” Fazli said in his resignation letter. “They are not bad people; in fact most of them are very decent human beings. But the humanity has been grilled out of them.”

    Senator David Adams said he disagrees with Fazli’s argument and that his experience in the USG this semester has led him to believe “just the opposite.”

    Abraham said he was accumulating too much work and will now need to take extra classes to be able to graduate in time. He works as a resident assistant and has just become a double major in information systems and business management.

    Abraham co-wrote USG’s new financial bylaws with Treasurer Thomas Kirnbauer during the summer. He started at the USG as a senator in 2010 and became a vice president last May.

    Both students said they will now focus on their school work and their jobs. Fazli commutes from Huntington and works part-time at a software company in Smithtown. He also said doesn’t have time for USG’s “gossiping.”

    “I am a practical guy and have no interest in playing politics. What I have encountered here, however, are people who have no interest in doing otherwise,” he said. “It is disheartening and I simply don’t have the time to waste.”

    Maloof defended the USG employees.

    “The idea of taking the job seriously is nothing to be ashamed of,” Maloof said. “The students entrusted us with these positions to represent them and handle their money. These are responsibilities that should not be taken lightly.”

     

    – Reporting also done by Frank Posillico and Alessandra Malito

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