Alvina “Nina” Katemauswa, Student Government (SG)’s Community and Government Liaison, submitted a resignation letter to members of SG on September 13. In the letter, Katemauswa said that she will work in Africa during the upcoming year, which precludes her from participating in SG.
“As some of you know, I have spent the past summer in East Africa, working for a Rwandan NGO through the joint IOP-Metcalf program. Some time into my former internship, I was approached with an offer to remain in Africa and continue doing direct-service educational and developmental work,” Katemauswa wrote.
The Community and Government Liaison “represents the student body to members of the community, and works to get students more involved in Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and the South Side in general,” according to SG’s website. In the letter, Katemauswa wrote that “the same reasons that led me to aspire for this role five months ago have now led me to believe that the place where I can truly make the most difference right now is not in Chicago, but here, in my continent, at my home.”
In response, Student Government posted an online application for the vacant position; the deadline is September 23, which coincides with the application deadlines for SG Cabinet positions. Though SG removed Katemauswa’s name and photo from its website, it has not yet publicly acknowledged her resignation. Tyler Kissinger, SG President, said since the online form was posted, at least three students have expressed interest.
He stated that according to SG Bylaws, the new Community and Government Liaison will be determined by a vote of the Assembly, which includes the College Council and the Graduate Council. Members of the Executive Committee, such as Kissinger, will not participate in the vote, which is likely to occur on the week of October 11.
In the closing section of her resignation letter, Katemauswa endorsed Anthony Downer as a candidate for her former position. In the last SG election, Downer campaigned alongside Katemauswa in an unsuccessful bid for the position of Undergraduate Liaison to the Board of Trustees. Downer said that he spoke with Katemauswa earlier this week, but has not yet decided on whether he will run for the position.
Kissinger declined to make a public endorsement, but said that he supports candidates with an interest in public health on the South Side of Chicago, particularly given the University’s recently-announced plan to co-sponsor the construction of an Level I adult Trauma Center at Holy Cross Hospital, in Marquette Park. The announcement follows years of student protests that called for the University to build a similar facility at the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC).
“I think that [the plan to build a Trauma Center in Marquette Park] was an enormous step forward, and I am interested to see what engagement comes from this decision,” Kissinger said.