Associated Student Government President Sky Patterson resigns


Daily file photo by Kate Salvidio

Sky Patterson was sworn in as the Associated Student Government president in April. She resigned earlier this month.

Elizabeth Byrne, Campus Editor

Sky Patterson has resigned from her position as the Associated Student Government president.

ASG announced Patterson’s resignation on Thursday. In a resignation letter dated Dec. 16, the Weinberg senior said she resigned to focus on her health and academics.

“I am resigning today to take care of my own wellbeing, to focus on my work and education, and to give myself the freedom to explore my passions outside of Northwestern,” Patterson wrote.

In the letter, Patterson wrote that too often students sacrifice their own well-being for their organization and that student leaders should set the example and establish well-being as a priority. She added that her resignation should signal to the administration that it needs to take students’ mental health more seriously.

“So many students have died since I’ve arrived here,” Patterson wrote. “Northwestern needs to do better and support each and every student who is in need.”

Patterson was a member of ASG for over three years and previously served as vice president of academics.

Rebecca Lazer, the ASG vice president of health and wellness, said she was proud Patterson decided to prioritize herself and hopes it will encourage other students to do the same.

“Especially in a lot of wellness circles and organizations on campus, all of us talk about productivity culture and say we’re working to fight that culture and make it ok to take a step back, but I don’t actually see a lot of that,” Lazer said. “It’s really important that she’s taking that step and prioritizing herself.”

She added that ASG began making changes to internal processes and the ASG code regarding wellness. Lazer said some of the changes included setting wellness expectations such as no institutional ASG meetings past 10 p.m.

Emily Ash, the executive vice president, said she was in open communication with Patterson before she resigned to create a smooth transition. Ash added that in the days between Patterson’s resignation and the ASG announcement, the organization worked on a process of succession.

“Sky was very concerned about how a resignation might impact us internally,” Ash said. “We did spend a good deal of time talking through how the board would move forward following a resignation and came up with a path that we both felt confident about. “

Ash will immediately assume the role of ASG president and will leave the executive vice president position vacant during the remainder of her term. Ash said she decided not to fill the position because she has the support she needs with the ASG Chief of Staff, Julia Shenkman, and the rest of the executive board.

Looking to the remainder of the term, Ash said she wants to face Patterson’s resignation with “openness” in an effort to destigmatize stepping down from leadership positions at NU.

“I think it is a brave choice for Sky to resign but I don’t want her to have to be brave,” Ash said. “I want to normalize the idea that if I am a student making a commitment that is causing me stress and harming my well-being, I should be able to step away from that and be supported by fellow students.”

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