July 21, 2019

SGA president resigns

Valdimir Radojkovic cited “disrespect” from the dean of students. 

Vladimir Radojkovic resigned from his position as Student Government Association (SGA) President last week with one meeting left.  Radojkovic cited disrespect from SGA Advisers John Buck and Jennifer Stewart as his reason for resigning.

“I don’t even want to be in the same room as those people,” Radojkovic said.

According to Radojkovic, SGA Senator-at-Large Wafa Osman was supposed read his speech at the Student Leadership Awards. Radojkvoic did not attend the awards.  Instead, he competed in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Track and Field Championships in Greenville, Illinois.

In a private Facebook group for SGA members, Radojkovic posted Buck said there was no point for Osman to deliver the president’s speech. According to Radojkovic, this went against tradition and protocol at the awards ceremony.

Fayeshun Brown was sworn in as SGA president on April 30.

Fayeshun Brown, the SGA vice president at the time, hosted the awards. Brown said when she read the script, a speech was not there.

“It was written that he was away to compete, and that unfortunately he wouldn’t be able to speak,” Brown said.

Radojkovic, originally from Serbia, is not the first international SGA president to quarrel with the SGA advisers. Vasif Durarbayli, the previous SGA president, reported bullying by SGA members to Buck in the 2017-2018 session. Durarbayli said Buck’s own biases impeded a fair investigation.

“I think there was a deviation between local and international members of SGA,” Durarbayli said. “I personally was treated unfairly and the actions of American members escalated to such a degree that I reported it as bullying.”

Durarbayli said Buck told him he planned to investigate the matter fairly and discuss his findings with him. However, Durarbayli said that never happened.

Radojkovic said he and Durarbayli faced similar opposition from Buck.

Buck serves as the interim associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students.  He declined to comment on this story.

Radojkovic briefly attended the final SGA meeting on Tuesday when Brown was sworn in as president.  Brown performed the duties of the president by swearing in members of the 2019-2020 SGA session. Radojkovic said he only came to see his girlfriend sworn in to next year’s session.

Brown said despite Radojkovic’s absence, the final SGA meeting went as planned.

“Of course, I was nervous. I wanted to do as well as Vlad no matter how long I’m there,” Brown said. “I didn’t want to let him down.”

Brown also swore in John Wallis as the 2019-2020 SGA president at the meeting.

Wallis said he would have handled the situation differently.

“I think respect is important,” Wallis said. “I don’t know what happened, but I feel like representation is important and if you want to be able to talk about what you accomplished as president of SGA, you should just stick it out. Be proud of what you’ve done instead of being petty and leave like that.”

Wallis said he believes Radojkovic did not face much opposition to his goals as SGA president from SGA members. He said SGA members may have opposed the way he wanted to accomplish these goals.

Wallis said Radojkovic recently advocated for a multi-purpose court near the University Center. According to Wallis, university administration already planned this project and had money allocated. Wallis said he liked the idea but did not understand why Radojkovic wanted to use SGA money for a multi-purpose court.

Brown said she’s proud of SGA’s accomplishments this year despite Radojkovic’s resignation.

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