Newly elected Berry steps down as ASG SSVP

Janette Neuwahl

Associated Student Government is starting the year with one thing missing: a student services vice president.

In August, Tiffany Berry resigned from the position in order to devote her time to a program she started for underprivileged teenage girls in the Rogers Park area.

As a result, ASG’s executive board will appoint a new student services vice president at the year’s second Senate meeting Oct. 9.

“I had a lot of things that I was supposed to do this year and with two jobs over the summer I was tired of being busy,” Berry said. “I asked God to show me what I was supposed to be doing and to eliminate one of the things that was taking up so much time. ASG was one of the things I had to give up.”

Although most of ASG’s executive board was disappointed by the news, ASG President Rachel Lopez, who also is a friend of Berry’s, said she understands the choice.

“I knew it was the right decision for her and I respect her for making it,” Lopez said. “It was something she was tackling internally and just didn’t show it to us until this summer.”

Last spring, Berry received a grant from the Rogers Park Youth Network to start the program, “Justus Girlz,” over the summer.

She has seen firsthand the benefits of showing girls opportunities that may propel them to attend college and hold leadership roles in the future, she said.

“When I was in high school my friends and I did something similar and I think it’s a large part of the reason we’re all in college and doing well,” said Berry, a Weinberg senior. “Leadership experience with that organization helped me throughout college. I wanted to help somebody else have a similar experience to realize they don’t have to reflect the environment they grew up in.”

But, when Berry started the job, she did not realize she would have to get the girls to bond as a group before they could begin serving the community. She chose to extend her program into the school year in order to spend more time working with them.

Berry also quit her elected position as assistant secretary of the single women’s ministry at the Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Church on the west side of Chicago. However, she said she plans to remain active on campus with the Oasis Ministries and hopes to bring the Justus Girlz to Northwestern for their weekly meetings during the school year.

“Both of these were elected positions so it was a tough decision, but when God tells you to do something you do it because if I had been in either one of those positions I would not have done the job that people would have wanted me to do,” Berry said.

“Contrary to popular belief I did not plan to do this,” Berry said. “I wasn’t trying to gain the trust of the student body to do this After winning the ASG position in the spring by 20 percentage points, the largest margin of victory in the elections, Berry leaves the job open for her former competition. Although anyone can apply, Spring Quarter student services vice president candidates Eileen Keeley and Jason Lake, said they still would like the position.

“I wanted to do it before and I know that I would do a good job,” said Lake, a Weinberg junior.

Applications, due Oct. 2 at 5 p.m., are available on the ASG Web site. ASG’s executive board will interview applicants Oct. 6, in order to select a new student services vice president in time for the group’s second meeting, said Joel Richlin, ASG’s campus public relations chair.

For now, Berry said she is having a hard time dealing with all of her disappointed supporters, but is trying to focus on her cause and find motivation through prayer.

“The decision wasn’t my own,” Berry said. “I think that this is best for me and the rest of student body and executive board and I would hope people see good come out of this and not focus on the fact that I had to resign from the position.”