By Kellen Browning,
Student Government member Eric Smith was named Senior Class Vice President on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at a lunchtime meeting of the ASB Executive Board. His appointment filled the vacancy left by Morgan Metler, who is now the Senior Class President after Mo Zheng resigned from the position last week.
“I was absolutely honored and humbled when [ASB President Teddy Knox] shared the news with me,” said Smith, who didn’t hold an official or executive position prior to today. “I am thrilled to be given the ability and chance to work hand-in-hand with Morgan Metler to make all events and other important decisions for our senior class significant and relevant, as well as fun.”
“I plan on listening and speaking directly with the senior class this year and make it clear that […] I am here to serve. I want to also plan on encouraging a growth of student body inclusion amongst seniors and all students in general,” he added.
Knox is excited about Smith’s new role.
“The decision to appoint Eric was based on conversations with [Metler], my own personal observations of his work ethic and character and the discussion that the Executive Board had at our meeting today,” Knox said.
“I have a lot of faith in Eric; in the two weeks that we’ve been in school, he has already taken initiative on multiple projects and worked tremendously hard for Student Government, and I think he and Morgan are going to make a fantastic team,” he added.
Metler has known Smith since sophomore year, and says she knows “he’s going to do a great job.”
“I’m excited to be president, but a little overwhelmed,” Metler said of the quick transition from VP to president. “I plan on making a lot of things happen for the seniors and giving everyone the opportunity to get involved.”
Zheng, who submitted an application for the vice presidential position after resigning, was disappointed not to be chosen.
“Student Government didn’t really give me a chance of becoming […] VP because they changed the VP’s constitutional rules to force the position to [be held by someone in the Student Government class],” said Zheng, who transferred out of the class when he resigned from office.
But Knox says that although Student Government did amend the ASB Constitution, the changes had been planned in advance and were unrelated to Zheng’s resignation.
“Mo and Morgan had been planning the amendments all summer, and the Exec Board was scheduled to discuss and vote on them at the August 31st meeting long before we knew that Mo had resigned,” he said.
Even though Zheng wasn’t selected for the position, he thinks the Executive Board picked a good candidate in Smith.
“I don’t know Eric very well, but he’s a nice person from the interactions I’ve had with him, and I hope he does a great job,” Zheng said.
In an earlier interview with The HUB, Zheng was vague about the reasons he quit Student Government, stating only that he “decided that there were certain parts of the class that I didn’t agree with” and that he felt limited in terms of decision-making.
This time, Zheng explained that throughout his campaign last year and at the beginning of this school year, he frequently encountered people who thought Zheng only wanted the position to augment his college applications.
“Comments were like, ‘Do you actually care about our school?’ [and] ‘Are you doing this for your GPA or college apps?’ Those and variations of those comments are typically what I’ve received,” he said.
Zheng says he wanted to switch from president to vice president to placate the doubters, because “if I’m VP it’ll satisfy the people who voted for me, as I can still help [the school] and I can also kind of drop the accusation of solely doing it for college apps, since it’s like not as prestigious to be VP [as it is to be president],” Zheng said.
Zheng had hoped for a smooth transition from president to vice president, but says that Student Government and both current and former students have “publicly demeaned” him both at school and via Twitter.
“And now the reason there’s backlash, I feel, is because the Exec Board and Stud Gov told people these rumors about me [wanting the position for college apps] and it spread,” he added.
Knox says that Student Government, at least as an organization, “has had no part in any rumor spreading about Mo.”
“Any rumor spreading that may have happened [by individuals] is unsanctioned by Student Government and is in direct violation of the class’ Code of Ethics,” Knox said. “Furthermore, I personally believe that Mo’s resignation is unrelated to his GPA, and that he ran for office because he loves the students of Davis High School.”