Senior Michael Fasullo, who was elected President of the Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC) last spring, announced his resignation Tuesday night.
“I feel that I’m not able to do the things I was elected to do,” Fasullo told The PHOENIX.
His resignation followed multiple charges that were filed against him in direct response to the Students for Worker Justice demonstration on worker rights that took place in November, according to SGLC Chief Justice Flavio Bravo.
On Dec. 1, a member of the student senate publicly filed a complaint against Fasullo alleging that he had failed to uphold the Oath when he became president, said Bravo, a senior political science and philosophy double major.
On Dec. 18, the Judicial Board of SGLC released a report with its findings. In it, the now-former student body president was charged with the following:
- Commitment to the Oath of office is in question
- Willingly and knowingly expressing assent to violate the Articles of Governance as well as university policy, thereby jeopardizing the commitment to the body served
- Failing to serve the organization as spokesperson in pursuing action that jeopardizes the integrity of the entire body without consideration of those parties
The charges questioned whether or not Fasullo had demonstrated “intent to break policy” or had been in “assent,” or agreement with doing so, according to the report. The first issue the Board addressed cited conversations that Fasullo had reportedly been part of that debated the use of megaphones, a direct violation of the current demonstration policy. Although a last-minute decision resulted in them not being used, the Board found that he was guilty of having the intention to break policy, whether or not it was carried out.
According to the report, the other violation to the policy was the act of bringing the demonstration into Damen Student Center and “disrupting the operations of the University.” On this, the Board found that Fasullo, whether or not he decided to bring the group inside, had not made “any effort to seize the group” from going indoors and confronting a university staff member.
The Board found him guilty of the first two charges, resulting in the decision to issue him three censures, or warnings, total — one censure for the question of his commitment to the Oath and two censures for “willingly and knowingly expressing assent,” according to the report.
Three censures would have been grounds for impeachment, Bravo said.
Separately, the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR) received a report against SGLC regarding the demonstration, alleging that it had “disrupted the University operations and targeted or harassed a member of the Loyola University Chicago community.”
The internal charges caused Fasullo to issue a statement that SGLC is no longer the best place for him to pursue his goals in worker justice and demonstration policy changes. He said he felt his passion for students being able to stand up for their beliefs was not represented in the organization.
“I feel in student government there’s a lack of commitment to thinking critically about issues and creatively trying to address issues on campus,” Fasullo said. “It’s not only that I want to do these things on campus, but I want to be part of an organization that does so.”
He said he believes that without the ability to protest and demonstrate in the way he would like, there is little hope for creating change on campus.
“I don’t want to be in an organization that doesn’t want to think critically on how to create change on campus,” he said.
Junior political science major Mariana Chavez, who was elected as Fasullo’s vice president last spring, is expected to take over as president. Currently, there is no procedure for who will take over Chavez’s position as vice president, according to SGLC bylaws.
“Mariana is equipped,” said Bravo. “If things have gone as they should, then she knows basically everything that they’ve been working on all year together.”
Fasullo was the vice president to Bravo, student body president of the 2014-2016 academic year. Bravo said the resignation came as a shock to him, just as it would anyone.
“Just to put yourself out there to run, even for student senate, can be overwhelming,” he said. “You’re taking a risk when you run for student government because you’re going to be meeting with people who don’t agree with you. He’s been in [student government] since freshman year, like me, so to see someone so committed to it, to see it come to this, it is disappointing. It’s sad.”
Fasullo said he doesn’t worry about what is going to happen to SGLC in his absence.
“I’m not worried about the organization because I don’t feel I made an oath to the organization,” he said. “I made an oath to the students who elected me.”