SFSS presidents should be focused on their presidencies

The society can function just fine without its president, but the situation is far from ideal

I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed Photo courtesy of Joshua Davis via Unsplash

By: Nicole Magas, Opinions Editor

Giovanni HoSang’s decision to take a summer co-op at Microsoft’s Seattle office fresh into his first term as the president of the SFSS is a disappointment, sure, but at this point it’s hardly a surprise. After last fall’s presidential impeachment, and the lack of functionality in the SFSS in general, I have more or less stopped being shocked when something goes wrong within the society.

With all due respect to HoSang and the good works he has done with activism on campus, let me say this: he should not have run for president after accepting the co-op. There’s such a thing as having one’s fingers in too many pies. A co-op out of the country and the presidency of the SFSS would seem to be two mutually exclusive roles. Taking on both at the same time was unnecessary and overambitious.

Think about it: these are two very big achievements to have landed at the same time. Now think about who else could have potentially taken one of those positions: someone who might have benefitted from the experience, or someone who could have devoted their full attention to the demands of the job.

Do I blame HoSang for applying for and accepting the Microsoft co-op? No, not at all. It’s a tremendous opportunity and I wish him all success with it. What I do take issue with is him running for president knowing that he would be absent, then making what feels like last-minute contingencies to have his fellow board members pick up the slack.

The situation we have now feels like a betrayal. Still shaken by the controversies of last year’s board, having someone dedicated to student issues take the helm felt like a refreshing new start for the SFSS. HoSang’s remote work feels like more of the same sort of political maneuvering that makes voters so jaded with their leaders that apathy consumes passion.

For the next three months, it seems that the SFSS will be without its president. No one can predict how HoSang’s hopeful arrangement will work out, although it seems likely that, in line with some well-reasoned arguments made at the board table, his conflicting schedules will create undue headaches for his fellow board members. At the very least, we know that the SFSS is capable of functioning without a formal president in emergencies.

If we learned nothing else from last year’s board, it’s that a chicken with its head cut off can run pretty far without crashing into a wall.