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Citing personal reasons, former SGB President Meyer resigns, hands reins to Harun - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Citing personal reasons, former SGB President Meyer resigns, hands reins to Harun

By Dale Shoemaker, Elizabeth Lepro and Lauren Rosenblatt

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Graeme Meyer has resigned as Student Government Board President, but he’s chosen to keep his reasoning private.

In a release Friday, May 29, SGB said that effective immediately, Meyer was resigning from his post, five months into his term. Nasreen Harun, then-executive vice president of the Board, has filled his vacancy and will serve as president until the end of next school year.

Harun became executive vice president because she received the highest number of votes in November’s election. Under SGB’s Governing Code, the executive vice president fills the president’s position in the case of a vacancy.

In the release, Meyer did not make a statement, and SGB did not provide a reason as to why he resigned. According to Meyer, he is also no longer an active member in any other campus organizations, including his academic honors fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, which colonized at Pitt in 2013.

In an email Saturday morning, Meyer said he resigned for “personal reasons.”

Later, during a phone interview Sunday night, Meyer declined to elaborate on those reasons.

“The reason I resigned was 100 percent personal. That is not something that needs to be talked about. It’s not news. Frankly, it’s gossip,” Meyer said.

Meyer declined an offer for a follow-up interview or phone call Tuesday, but said in an email Tuesday night that he felt he was no longer able to carry out his responsibility to the Pitt student body as president of SGB.

“The number one responsibility for someone in my position is to ensure that they are able to support the needs of the entire student body while also supporting themselves,” Meyer said. “I felt I was no longer able to carry out [that] responsibility at this time, and it was in everyone’s best interest for me to step down.”

Though he would not elaborate, Meyer said no one thing caused him to resign.

“I am not in a place to share details of my personal life… at this time. I can assure you there was no one reason I resigned,” he said Tuesday.

Before Meyer resigned, Harun said he came to her and the two met several times before informing the rest of the Board. As Meyer’s friend, Harun said, those meetings were not easy.

“I wanted to make sure everything was OK with him, but I also knew what [his resigning] meant for me,” she said.

Harun said she could not speak to the nature of Meyer’s personal issues and that she would not have predicted this outcome when the two ran together in November.

Meyer said the decision was hard, but that it was the right one to make.

“It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do, but it was something I needed to do,” Meyer said on Sunday. “I felt I couldn’t serve the student body in that capacity anymore.”

Harun said while she didn’t see Meyer’s resignation coming, she and the Board are confident they will be able to lead without Meyer.

“I think it did come as a bit of a surprise, but I think everyone is ready to move forward. We’re all looking forward to the summer months and the school year,” Harun said Sunday.

Despite Meyer’s resignation, both current Board members and the administrators who have worked with the Board said SGB will remain strong through this transition.

Though Kenyon Bonner, interim vice provost and dean of students, no longer formally advises SGB, he did meet with Meyer every other week, including before SGB announced Meyer’s decision to resign.

In a statement Tuesday, Bonner said he enjoyed his time with Meyer, but supports his decision to resign and is ready to begin working with Harun.

“I have full confidence in Nasreen’s preparedness and ability to assume the role of SGB President,” Bonner said. “She is a strong leader with significant experience in student government.”

Steven Anderson, who oversees Residence Life and now SGB, declined to expand further on Bonner’s comments.

Leaving has been hard, Meyer said, but he has full confidence in Harun to fill his role as president.

“I am deeply saddened but deeply confident in [Harun],” Meyer said. “Everyone on the Board is 100 percent behind [Harun].”

The Board, too, supports Meyer’s decision and is confident in its future without him.

“We just want to be there for him and support him,” Board member Jack Heidecker said Tuesday. “We’ve made accomplishments [in the past], and we’ll continue to make accomplishments.”

Harun is excited to take on her new role as SGB president, but said the excitement is bittersweet.

“It’s sad to see [Meyer] go, but I think we’re ready to keep moving forward,” she said.

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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper
Citing personal reasons, former SGB President Meyer resigns, hands reins to Harun