Members applaud decision to keep senator

Nicole Stempak

The situation regarding the senator for the residence halls wasn’t mentioned until the end of the Undergraduate Student Government’s full meeting yesterday.

“I think this would be a good time, as a group, to talk about the situation that Joe is having with KIC,” communications director Adam Smithberger said to the members.

It was reported in Tuesday’s Daily Kent Stater that Joe Derkin, senator for the residence halls, was not living on campus. According to Article VI, Letter K of the USG bylaws, the senator “shall reside on-campus one semester prior to and while they serve as senator.”

Following Smithberger’s announcement, a few senators said they wanted to know about the situation.

Executive Director Jonathan Bey said Kent Interhall Council voted at Tuesday’s meeting to support Sen. Joe Derkin, which was received by applause from the group.

Bey assured members he would continue to meet with KIC to “mend the fences.”

“I think Joe is doing a great job, and I fully support him throughout this whole situation,” Bey said.

Bey said he knew Derkin probably wouldn’t live in the residence halls when Derkin was appointed this spring.

“He was the only applicant, so with the powers of the charter, I went ahead and appointed him,” Bey said, adding that Derkin has been working since last spring.

Bey said he and KIC President Avery Danage agreed to let KIC decide whether to pursue the issue further.

“If they voted yes, he would keep pushing it,” Bey said. “If they voted no, he would drop it.”

KIC voted no.

Still, Bey said he will meet with Danage to determine Derkin’s role.

Derkin said KIC talked about the story at the meeting.

“The KIC people were like ‘That’s kind of dumb. It doesn’t matter. He’s doing a good job,'” Derkin said, adding that he was welcomed and applauded by the KIC general council. “The (executive board) was the one that don’t want me.”

Derkin said he hoped the issue would subside so he can get back to work.

“I think their problem with me should be over for now, and we can finally just shake hands and say, ‘Hey, let’s work for the residence hall students,” he said.

Contact student politics reporter Nicole Stempak at [email protected]