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Grady Thomson's Senate Resignation

September 18, 2019

To the Student Body of the University of California, Merced:

It’s with the utmost respect that I submit this letter of resignation from the position of Senator-At-Large of the Associated Students of the University of California, Merced. This is a choice that ultimately I did not want to make, but I hope to be able to address in full. Before I do, however, I’d like to say how amazing the opportunity has been to represent and support the students of this great school we all attend. I have been more than lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of student government.

Ultimately, my resignation is the result of personal capabilities. I have neither the time or energy to sufficiently serve the students of this campus to the level that they deserve, nor to the level that I promised I would when I first ran for senate. I cannot, in good conscience, be paid to do work that is anything less than what this campus deserves. I will be plainly honest, I simply don’t have a schedule that allows me to give my all in ASUCM Senate, and still be able to be a successful student on campus. More than anything, it is important that ASUCM fosters a culture of student success. I am no exception.

I’d like to leave a message for the current members of ASUCM, specifically the senate. My entire time in senate has been devoted to serving the school, and the values we hold dear as much as I can. I have seen the exchange of ideas in senate firsthand. Where there are politics, there are differences in opinions, and ASUCM is no exception. There is no problem with that inherently. There are, however, ideas that I hope all members of ASUCM remember when they act. First of all, you all serve the students of this school, not the budget of ASUCM. Lately, there has been a popular notion on the senate floor that the senators need to grossly reduce spending on RCOs to better accommodate the ASUCM budget. Many senators have prioritized budgeting over impact to an extreme extent. I hope senators see that this mindset discourages growth, and has lessened the effect that ASUCM could have in helping the student body and the Central Valley. Secondly, I want to remind senators of an important fact. Being on senate is not an elite club. It is not a résumé builder, and it does not make you better than anyone else. You’ve all been elected to serve the student body of this campus, and with that ought to come humility. The disrespect I’ve witnessed from senators towards RCOs and individuals is outrageous. It's disingenuous, and wrong. What may seem like another bill, or another number, could be the best part of someone’s life here at UC Merced. It was my hope to be able to bring these ideas to the forefront of the senate’s mindset, but I just did not have the time.

I want to close this message off by letting everyone know that I am by no means finished with providing assistance to students. If there is any individual or RCO that wants help navigating the often too intimidating world of ASUCM, please feel free to reach out to me. I may not be able to go to ASUCM meetings regularly, but I would be more than happy to help anyone that can use my services, whether that means drafting bill proposals, meeting with senators, or anything at all. So please, do not hesitate to reach out to me. This was a difficult decision to come to, but I am very excited for the future of UC Merced.

All the best,

Grady Thomson