Fulton ’03 Resigns From Post as Cluster President; Ksiazek to Take Position

Forced to resign because of an appearance before a Discipline Committee (DC) in December, former West Quad South (WQS) Cluster President Marshall Fulton ’03 transferred control of his post to WQS Senior Representative Nick Ksiazek ’03. As agreed upon by Phillips Academy Dean of Students Marlys Edwards and Student Council President Kanyi Maqubela ’03, Ksiazek has assumed the responsibilities of his new position and will occupy a spot on both the Student and Cluster Councils for the remainder of the academic year. This particular case, which bears a striking resemblance to last year’s replacement of the disciplined West Quad North (WQN) Cluster President Marc Ward ’02 with WQN Senior Representative Kwadwo Acheampong ’02, has again brought The Blue Book’s 2-year-old policy on the penalties for a student leader’s rule violation into the campus spotlight. As with last spring’s example in WQN, the transition in WQS leadership proceeded by appointment, not by another round of elections. Although there exists no actual rule about the process of replacement of the reprimanded leader, both the Student Government and the school administration accept the WQN model as precedent for mid-year changes. In its “Discipline: Consequences for Student Leaders” section, The Blue Book states simply, “A student who breaks a major school rule and is placed on Probation will most likely be required to give up leadership positions. … The decision is made by the cluster dean based on a recommendation by the DC.” Looking to elaborate on the role of those guidelines, Ms. Edwards observed, “[Before their mention in The Blue Book,] The consequences [for disciplined student leaders] were there, but they had not been articulated. Before it was a statement in The Blue Book, [discipline and removal of student leaders from their positions] happened pretty frequently, whether with team captains or cluster presidents or Student Council members.” Under the new Student Council Constitution, however, disciplined members of the Council may remain in office unless the administration instructs otherwise. Still, the Constitution’s proviso extends only to the Council, not to those affiliated with the cluster branch of the Student Government network. Maqubela commented, “The Student Council Constitution says that if an elected official is put on probation, he or she will be recommended by the Student Advisory Committee or the President to resign, but he or she will not be required to do so. Whereas the elected officials clause in the Constitution is specific to Council officials, The Blue Book has jurisdiction over cluster officials.” Maqubela continued on to remark on how Ksiazek would fit in to the Student Government, saying, “The way it will likely work out is that Ksiazek will be a cluster president first and a senior rep second.” Ksiazek, meanwhile, hopes to complete the transition and handle the additional workload smoothly. He stated, “I want to ensure that everyone has a fair and honorable DC. I will continue Marshall’s hard work as cluster president.” He continued, “Mr. Washburn said that [the replacement of the disciplined Cluster President with the Senior Rep] was the precedent and that that would be the easiest thing to do. I hope we will be able to come up with some events that everyone in the cluster will be able to enjoy.” Despite the initial challenges Ksiazek will likely face in coordinating his wing of the cluster government, Fulton expressed confidence in his successor, “I think Ksiazek will do well based on his experience as a senior rep, which gives him a good sense of how the student government functions.”