Student Association Speaker Nora Lipetzky resigned effective immediately Wednesday, Feb. 5, citing a lack of time to commit to the role.
Lipetzky joined SA three years ago and quickly worked her way up into leadership positions. Last year, she served as the allocations chairwoman before being nominated for speaker this year. She accepted the role in May 2019.
“(The resignation) was a long time coming,” she said. “I started thinking about it right after Battle of the Valley. November was particularly a rough month for me mentally and personally. … I was still feeling off in January. I wanted to put a lot of the blame on just being anxious, but it wasn’t going away.”
Lipetzky said she found it difficult to work a 40-hour job while also dedicating 10 to 20 hours weekly to SA.
“That’s 70-hour work weeks on top of being a full-time graduate student, having a boyfriend and friends, having family over five hours away,” she said. “It was starting to take a toll on different parts of my life. … I wanted to leave on my own terms and remember the good that I had there rather than drawing it out and resenting it every day.”
Lipetzky said she enjoyed the creative side of the position and working with administrators and students on different projects.
However, her personal and professional life “became a gray blur” as she began having to work for SA at “odd hours” to keep up with corresponding with students and faculty.
“I tried to do things between regular business hours, but it got to the point where I was getting messages at all hours of the day,” she said. “I was getting random messages from students. It was wonderful students were reaching out, but I guess that shows fault, too, that we’re not promoting enough.”
She said SA members “aren’t doing enough outreach so that other students are recognizing more members of the organization.”
“Being that one person, the go-to person for a lot of things could be draining and frustrating at times,” she said.
SA President Hunter Koch said Lipetzky “did some really good things” in the often-difficult role as speaker.
“The speaker is a particularly difficult role,” he said. “Working with representatives and leadership all the time can be exhausting, especially when you care about the organization as much as Nora did.”
SA will have nominations during its regularly scheduled 10:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, meeting in the Alumni Lounge. The speaker must be a current SA member because the role involves being familiar with SA procedures and policies.
“Once we get someone who gets three-quarters of the vote, that person will be elected speaker,” Koch said. “Sometimes, it’s very easy to get that. But even with a single candidate, it can take some time to get through the process because it’s the biggest personnel decision that is made in the House. There can be half an hour or longer discussion about not just if the person is qualified but what the position needs to be coming up.”
Koch said he anticipates voting in a new speaker during the meeting. Lipetzky said she wishes the next speaker and the rest of SA well and offered parting advice to her replacement.
“I have my idea of a couple different people I think would be ideal for the role, but my opinion doesn’t necessarily matter at this point,” she said. “Take it seriously. Don’t get complacent. Complacency is a problem that can happen in positions of power, especially superficial constructs of power that are created by our community.”
She stressed these issues are not unique to SA, but, after talking to other SA representatives who had left, she said changes do need to happen within the organization.
“With all the good that is in SA, there is always negativity that is there,” she said. “It’s bound to be there, and I saw a lot go on with the time commitment. I saw a lot of our representatives depart in the fall semester. We faced a hard time with retention especially. Structural things do need to change.”
Koch said he does not anticipate any interruptions to SA’s scheduled events or activities as a result of the personnel changeover.
“It’s a difficult situation to be in, no doubt,” he said. “We made sure that nothing is going to be influenced by it. Cardinal Ball is going on as planned. … Right now, we’re picking up the pieces and moving forward.”