Matt Herndon, ASG’s vice president for accessibility and inclusion, steps down


Daily file photo by Sophie Mann

ASG vice president for accessibility and inclusion Matt Herndon speaks at Senate in April. The SESP junior resigned from his position on Wednesday due to other commitments and personal health.

Darby Hopper, Reporter

Associated Student Government vice president for accessibility and inclusion Matt Herndon resigned from his position at Wednesday’s meeting, citing other commitments and personal health.

“This quarter’s been very difficult for me, with commitments as far as work, class, ASG and other activities, and I’ve not been really taking care of myself very well, so that’s a big thing I’m focusing on going forward,” the SESP junior said. “It’s been a very difficult decision because I’ve really liked my time serving here and I think this community is very important.”

Herndon said he is confident leaving his committee in the hands of his senior members until a new vice president is selected. His apology was met with applause.

“Christina and I campaigned on the platform of student government needs to be students first,” ASG President Noah Star told The Daily. “While I’m sad to see him go because he was a great leader and he certainly improved me as a leader, I respect his decision and am very proud of him.”

During his tenure, Herndon helped lead the push for a U.S.-based Social Inequalities and Diversities requirement in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He also advocated ASG-sponsored trainings about power and privilege for student group leaders, a program ASG members will pilot in January.

ASG created the position during Spring Quarter 2012, and the post has become increasingly important as student government focuses more on issues of accessibility and inclusion.

Star, a Weinberg senior, said Herndon will be involved in the transition of the next VP at his own discretion. Star and McCormick senior Christina Kim, the executive vice president, will form a selection committee and will open the applications soon after, Star said. However, due to reading week and final exams approaching, he expects not to have a replacement until early Winter Quarter.

Later in the meeting, Senate passed a unanimous resolution to support refugee resettlement in the United States, saying that ASG “will urge all members of the Northwestern community to contact local, state, and federal representatives to voice their support for accepting refugees.”

Muslim-cultural Student Association Senator Yusuf Kudaimi, a Weinberg sophomore, authored the resolution with three other students.

“The authors are four of your fellow students who are of Syrian descent,” Kudaimi said. “It’s hitting close to home even more now because our governor, our own governor, is speaking out against refugees.”

The resolution faced some debate over whether it was ASG’s place to send a message to the entire NU population on what some senators called a “politicized issue.”

Others, including Star, disagreed.

“As the person who would potentially be sending the message, I have no qualm,” Star said. “This would be an important message to send. I don’t think it would be political in any way. It’s about helping people.”

Senate also finalized supplemental funding for the 2015-2016 year under the supervision of the executive board. Student groups could petition their allotted funds, and two groups, Northwestern Community Development Corps and CaribNation, received additional funding of $1,200 and $900 respectively.

“Let the record show this was amazingly fast,” said Matt Clarkston, speaker of the Senate and a Weinberg senior.

Senate had $13,055 to give, and the remaining $10,955 will go into the spring funding pool for the following year.

The body will make B-status funding decisions at the next meeting.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @darby_hopper