Estis hopes for smooth transition to president-elect

Cameron Jett, Editor-in-Chief

The adversarial relationship between current Student Government President Ethan Estis and Vice President David Hernandez isn’t one that’s lived exclusively behind closed doors.

In February of this year, this animosity displayed itself in an SGA senate meeting when Estis admitted to authoring four senate bills—an act that goes against his role as president. Hernandez told Estis that an act such as this meant he had not upheld his oath of office.

Estis said some of his professional shortcomings came as a result of changes in the senate, the student body and SGA advisors.

“It was a learning curve for me, it was a learning curve for our officers, and I had to adapt to the new dynamic professional relationship between me and my vice president,” Estis said.

Now Hernandez is set to step into the role of SGA president. He received no opposition in his bid for president, automatically appointing him to the position.

Estis said that Hernandez’s rapid rise from an organizational senator to president in a year’s time might leave Hernandez without enough experience. 

But the president-elect said that he had garnered experience through studying SGA’s processes. 

“During my term as SGA vice president, I have been able to learn a lot of the inner workings of the Student Government Association, from the legislative documents to the roles of our executive officers,” he said. “These experiences that I have obtained during my term have given me the tools to step up and fill the role of president.”

Estis said Hernandez becoming president was not a surprise. He said, even if it came to a vote, that he could see Hernandez going to the top of SGA. 

Because of this, both sides have said they are working towards making a professional change in power as the semester comes closer to an end.

“Although President Estis and I have had our differences, he has been very helpful in the transition process,” Hernandez said. “For the past week, he has advised me on what to expect as SGA president, the importance of school and SGA balance, and what parts during his term helped him the most along with the areas that were more challenging.” 

Hernandez said he is helping prepare for the transition himself by using his experience as vice president to prepare the next person in this role—Alden “Tristan” Sonnier. 

“I have been keeping track of my experiences as vice president in a binder that I was preparing specifically for the next vice president that will take over after my term was over,” Hernandez said.

The differences with the current president have given him ideas on how to prevent incidents in the future that could disrupt SGA.

“I learned quickly that accountability, communication and legislative education is the best tool to prevent issues such as these from ever occurring,” Hernandez said. “As I always say to the senators and officers at SGA, the legislative documents set in place not only hold us accountable, but they hold us to a standard that the students we serve have set for us.”

Even in parting and under less-than-perfect conditions, Estis said he will remain supportive of the newly-named officers moving forward.

“I hope their intentions and demeanor for the students thrive above all,” Estis said. “It will be an interesting year.”