One of the three candidates on Recognize UMD’s SGA election ticket dropped out of the race Wednesday.
Keith Katz, a junior economics major who was running for vice president of financial affairs, said the decision was entirely personal.
“When I first decided to run for VP of finance, I knew that it was going to be incredibly hard,” Katz said. “I was hoping that by taking on that responsibility, I would be able to effect change within myself, and I would be able to push myself to the point where I could handle all of it.”
Humza Yahya, who heads the Recognize UMD ticket in his bid for Student Government Association president, said the change wouldn’t upset any of the party’s platform.
“We’re still representing the same ideas, and at the end of the day, Keith dropping out was completely just [for] personal reasons, and we recognize that and wish him the best,” the junior accounting and information systems major said. “We would never want someone to feel forced to do something just because everyone else is asking them to.”
Per election rules, Yahya isn’t able to appoint a new candidate to the position of financial affairs vice president for his ticket. Andrew Stover, the candidate for Envision Maryland, stands to run unopposed.
Aaron Gladstone, the head commissioner of the elections board, said there was an appeal underway to make an exception to the rules, but the result had not yet been determined, as of Thursday.
“The rules pretty much apply that all tickets have to be finalized by April 2,” said the senior government and politics and history major.
He said the campus could still learn about Recognize UMD’s views on financial matters in the debate Thursday night.
“The debate will have both general ticket questions and individual member questions, so in that sense, Recognize [UMD] will still be able to talk about what they want to do, but it’ll be a different context,” he said.
Stover said if elected, he would want to focus on making the finance process more transparent for student groups.
“There will be a lot more communication with the student groups,” said Stover, a sophomore public policy major. “There has been some problems, and student groups have been understandably frustrated with the process. They don’t understand how it works or why they haven’t been given funding.”
He said he would want to host a regular town hall where students could ask questions about what qualifies for funding and what doesn’t.
Both candidates’ platforms overlapped on funding cultural student groups. Stover said there was a difficult line to tread between funding purely social events and culturally relevant social events. He said he would want to set clearer guidelines and start a pilot project where cultural groups could apply for financial support for culturally important events from a specially designated fund.
Katz said he’d be interested in staying on the finance committee. The new vice president of financial affairs will be given the choice to appoint members of the committee, and Stover said if elected, he would be open to the possibility of working with Katz.
“I completely respect [Katz’s] opinion, I know he has done a good job serving on the finance committee,” Stover said. “I have not had a chance to talk to him about that, but I would definitely be open to have a conversation if he reached out to me.”