University of Minnesota undergraduate student body president Mina Kian plans to resign in the spring.
Kian, who has been involved in various positions in MSA for the last four-and-a-half years, said she plans to resign purely for academic reasons and will leave her presidency sometime in the spring semester.
“I am choosing to leave exclusively because of the fact this academic professional development conflict could not be adjusted,” Kian said.
MSA Vice President Jael Kerandi will assume the presidency and appoint a new vice president subject to the MSA forum’s approval.
“I have full confidence in Jael’s ability to continue leading this organization in my absence and to ensure the advocacy initiatives that we started together will come to fruition,” Kian said.
Voting members met Thursday and held discussions on the next steps for MSA in light of a presidential resignation.
The preparations follow an Oct. 22 forum, which was motioned into closed session. A bill drafted in October, and discussed at the forum, called for Kian to discuss MSA's priorities.
“[T]he President of the Minnesota Student Association has denied repeated and sustained requests to have a meaningful and respectful conversation around organizational culture and organizational portfolio,” the bill states. It also states that "the President's behavior is largely responsible for the creation of a difficult work environment."
The closed session, which some members say was called in order to have “transparent conversations” about internal culture, excluded leadership. Prior to the closed session, six members resigned from the undergraduate student government. Two more members have resigned since, bringing the total to eight since July 2019.
Kian denied a connection between her resignation and the concerns about the internal culture discussed in the closed session.
Kian stated that while she has loved her position within MSA, she is choosing to put her academics first.
“I hope to lead by that example for all students across campus that they have to always have [academics] as a top priority,” Kian said.
In spring 2019, during the MSA presidential elections, the Minnesota Daily Editorial Board endorsed Kian and Kerandi for their current positions.