Victoria Young, seen in this file photo, resigned as the St. Thomas University's Students' Union vice-president student life and valedictorian on March 22, 2022. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

According to a press release on March 23, vice-president student life and valedictorian-elect Victoria Young resigned from both positions on March 22 in a letter to the St. Thomas University Students’ Union.

“I came to this decision not easily and it’s not something that I wanted to do,” said Young in an interview. “I felt suffocated and I needed a breath of fresh air.”

Young said the decision to step down was in the works for a while, but that she loved her position as vice-president student life. 

In the press release from STUSU, president Ty MaGee said vice-president administration Alex Nguyen will assume the vice-president student life duties until May 1 as per their by-laws. 

The resignation comes days after students took to social media about their inability to vote for the valedictorian position on the STUSU voter ballot. Around 40 students also showed up to the student representative council meeting on Sunday to voice their concerns. STUSU concluded that the appeal, sent by valedictorian candidate David Eno, was in the allotted time frame and an appellate board was formed. 

STUSU announced in today’s release that the executive team made a formal recommendation to the appellate board to declare the runner-up in the valedictorian election as valedictorian-elect. The runner-up was David Eno sitting at 41 votes with Young at 43. The election used weighted voting. 

A story concerning students who were unable to vote in the recent election will be released this weekend. 

In the press release, MaGee apologized to the STU community for the gaps in policies and technology that led to the “mal-proceedings of the election.” They said many procedural decisions are left up to interpretation based on precedence. But that practice didn’t account for “situational differences.”

MaGee apologized for not recognizing those differences. 

“Our ability to effectively represent students is to be adaptable and relevant to specific times and spaces,” wrote MaGee in part of the statement. “Where we failed to do so in this instance, I am hopeful this will set a new precedence for future Union teams, one that focuses on adaptability and situational analysis, rather than historical procedure that may not be applicable in the present day.”

With files from Giuliana Grillo De Lambarri