Tobolewski replaces Bishop after he resigns as Student Gov. president

Former Student Gov. President Mike Bishop, who resigned last week. (Photo from Student Gov. Instagram)

Former Student Gov. President Mike Bishop, who resigned last week. (Photo from Student Gov. Instagram)

Sophia Maltese, Managing Editor

Mike Bishop, former president of the John Carroll Student Government, resigned on Sunday, Nov. 11 just weeks before the end of his term. The reason for his resignation is unclear. Former Executive Vice President Maddie Tobolewski, who is now president, stated that Bishop’s resignation may be due to a bill of impeachment that would have been formally proposed before the Senate the Tuesday after Bishop resigned.

Bishop holds that his resignation was because, as he told The Carroll News, “I no longer felt that I could align myself with the direction that a select few members of the executive board were heading.” 

Bishop, a full-time Case Western law student, ended his time at John Carroll last spring. He, however, did not end his time as Student Government president. Through an article in Student Government’s constitution, Bishop was able to work remotely for the remainder of his term. The article, Section 15 J subsection 2, states, “If such an unforeseen circumstance were to arise, the office holder holds the option to remain in office and appoint a proxy to fulfill their on-campus duties in their absence.” Bishop was absent due to his participation in the joint law program between John Carroll and Case, which students sign up for during their freshmen year.

This language enabled Bishop to work remotely, with Tobolewski acting as his proxy. “With [Mike’s] limited availability this semester … I’ve been stepping into a lot of those roles and taking on a lot more meetings,” Tobolewski said. 

Tobolewski was notified of Bishop’s resignation on Monday morning by Lisa Ramsey, the adviser of Student Government, with the rest of the executive board and the Senate. “[Lisa] didn’t want to assume that I could take the position.

“The way our constitution is written is that it goes to the next highest-ranking,” Tobolewski said. Therefore, if Tobolewski wanted to remain in the vice president position, she could have declined the presidency.

“That evening, Lisa and I had a phone call and I said, ‘Yes, absolutely. I’m stepping in as president and I think that’s my role and my duty and my responsibility to do so, and I’m happy to do so.’”

Tobolewski continued, “These are the instances that I thrive in, where you need the calming presence and the helping hand, and there’s where I needed to be.”

After the phone call, Tobolewski sent an email to Senate explaining the situation and that she would be assuming Bishop’s role. The email’s subject was “Student Government updates!” and detailed Tobolewski’s optimism for the upcoming months.

“Though this is not the most ideal of situations, I am extremely optimistic about these next two months with all of you as I serve as president. I think we have laid the groundwork for great things this year and I can’t wait to see how things come together as we finish out our terms strong and energized!” Ending with an Amy Poehler gif, Tobolewski said that she is proud to work with everyone on Senate.

Ramsey also sent an announcement, which stated, “Mike Bishop has resigned as Student Government president as of Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019.  I will be working with the Executive Board to determine the next steps in filling the position.  If you have any questions, please talk to [Bishop] directly.”

Bishop declined an interview with The Carroll News. Additionally, all senators were told not to comment on the matter because, according to Tobolewski, “We wanted to make sure that if someone were to explain the situation, it was a consistent version of it.”

Moving forward, Student Government is adapting to newly chosen Executive Vice President Brendan Sieber. According to Student Government’s Constitution, selecting the new VP is an application and interview process that does not guarantee a member of the executive board will assume the role.

“I couldn’t have imagined somebody better to step into the role at a time where I could use an extra hand,” Tobolewski said. Sieber has worked on Student Government for three years, acting as a senator and a member of the executive board  as well as participating in multiple committees.

Tobolewski’s term will be short, however, as Erin Ahern, president-elect, will assume the role of Student Government president in January 2020. Tobolewski plans on pursuing constitutional review, compiling informational materials for those interested in student government, preparing a State of the Union Address and furthering the campus safety initiative.