In a surprise move, EWU Associated Students Legislative Liaison, Shane Hart turned in his resignation Tuesday afternoon.
“We accept the resignation of Shane Hart for Legislative Liaison with regret. We thank him for his time and effort in preparing the students with a well-organized agenda. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors,” said Bree Holsing, ASEWU President, in a prepared statement regarding Hart’s resignation.
“It’s been an ongoing situation with a lack of respect for the work I’ve put in,” said Hart. “I honestly believe it’s a lack of understanding on Bree’s part,” in regards to what Hart does with the Washington Student Lobby.
Holsing appointed Hart to the position of Legislative Liaison at the urging of former ASEWU President, Danny Caldwell at the end of last spring.
“Until I talk to Shane Hart, it would be unfair of me to comment on the situation, but I fully intend to discuss the matter with him at some point,” said Dee Dee Keys, ASEWU Legislative Affairs.
Ironically, Hart lost to Keys in last February’s AS election when he ran against her for the Legislative Affairs position. However, Hart served in the Legislative Affairs position for a brief time after Tracy Williams, the former Legislative Affairs representative, resigned last April.
Although it was never mentioned directly in his letter, Hart did indicate that the issue of lack of research in regards to tax-free textbooks and alternative food vendors did impact his decision to resign. Though, Hart recently had a blood clot removed from his arm, and felt the continued stress of the position was ill advised for his health and well-being.
“I had no opposition to representing student issues such as alternative food vendors and the tax free textbooks, however, I wanted more research done before lobbying these issue in front of the Washington State Legislature,”said Hart. Though he also mentioned those issues should have been a moot point because they were never passed through council.
The fact that Hart never mentions Holsing by name is his resignation letter was quite intentional.
“I wanted to show that this is a Liaison to AS President problem that needs to be resolved, and not a Shane and Bree problem,” said Hart.
“My main issues with regard to doing my job effectively were lack of understanding on behalf of the President, her [Holsing’s] unprofessionalism in regards to how she treats people and her contradictory information that is passed on to the administration and the Board of Trustees,” said Hart.
“I honesty think Bree is an effective leader, however, in my position, I feel she’s going in the opposite direction,” said Hart.
Unlike council jobs, Hart’s position is an appointment by the AS Council, with Holsing having the ultimate authority on the appointment, so the normal two-week waiting period does not apply in this case.
Hart was also concerned that there were no set requirements for his job as Liaison.
“With a lack of bylaw job requirements for the Liaison position, I was in constant contact with past Liaisons and past AS Presidents from the last 10 years to ascertain what I should be doing,” said Hart.
Hart still does hold the position of Finance Vice President on the Washington Student Lobby state board. This is a position he plans to continue despite no longer being Eastern’s Legislative Liaison.
The Washington State Legislative session is currently scheduled to run from January 1st to April 22nd, said Hart.
Hart stressed that he wished the AS council the best of luck and that is why he’s keeping his position as Finance VP for the Wash Student Lobby.