OSU-Cascades student body president Jade Warner resigns

Oregon State University-Cascades student Jade Warner has decided to step down as the OSU-Cascades ASCC president, mentioning “it wasn’t an easy decision”. The lack of support for ASCC combined with the heavy workload made Warner unable to keep doing both.

Luke Reynolds, OSU-Cascades Beat Reporter

As students at OSU-Cascades have begun to adjust to the new term, the current Associated Students of the Cascades Campus President Jade Warner has resigned.

Jade Warner was elected to the ASCC in June 2020, as well as serving as the vice president and student fee committee chair before then.

In a public letter on social media addressed to the OSU-Cascades leadership team, Warner cited a few factors that led to her resignation, with the most prominent being the treatment of student employees at OSU-Cascades.

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“We don’t have enough employees in student life to function as we should. We are doing such high achieving things now, and it’s really hard. I’m doing five people’s jobs similar to ASOSU on the main campus,” Warner said.

The amount of work for current student employees has increased over time as well, putting more pressure on students to do more.

“It’s not written that way. [The position] use to be 15 hours [per week] last year; we moved it up to 20 hours this year,” Warner said.

Warner feels that the positions of ASCC president and vice president “really are full-time jobs” and that more hours need to be worked beyond 20 in order to get all of the responsibilities done for students that need to be done.

“I had to resign, not only because it was too much for one person, but it was directly affecting my mental and physical health,” Warner said.

According to Warner, she had to take a two week absence last term due to health issues that were likely linked to stress.

Warner’s resignation came as a surprise to many, including OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson.

“I’m disappointed that Jade won’t be finishing her term as ASCC president. She made many contributions during her tenure as ASCC president and earned respect from students, faculty and staff, as well as from local and state leaders. We will miss her leadership,” Johnson said.

In response to Warner’s health issues as the president of the ASCC, Johnson said, “students’ health and wellness is a top priority at OSU-Cascades. We are concerned any time we learn that a student worker position is affecting an individual student’s wellness.”

Johnson recognizes that being the ASCC president is a demanding position.

“Between the burden of the pandemic, challenging coursework and their campus jobs, we recognize that students are under a lot of stress,” Johnson said.

One thing Warner and Johnson mentioned was the lack of funds in the student budget.

“We maintained our student worker positions in the face of severe budget cuts due to the pandemic, not only because those positions are important to our campus, but because those jobs are important for our students,” Johnson said.

According to Johnson, OSU-Cascades will continue to make student workers a priority, and the “demands on their time are appropriate.”

Current ASCC Vice President Taha Elwefati will assume Warner’s position as president of the ASCC. Elwefati was also sad to hear about Warner’s resignation.

“Jade is amazing, she is like a pillar of student government. She is an information source and an extremely imperative part of our team, and it was really hard to see her leave,” Elwefati said.

When working together, Warner and Elwefati made it a priority to represent as many students as possible. This included attending as many student leadership and committee meetings that required a student representative, a position Warner would fill most of the time.

“It was very important to her that the administration and the university in general understood all the decisions they make affect students,” Elwefati said.

With the ASCC presidency being transitioned over to Elwefati, he said his main focus will be aiming to continue the goals Warner strived for.

“I cannot stress enough how amazing Jade was for student government and how much work she did. I got multiple binders from her when we were transitioning and she came in and wrote pages of stuff that she does every week,” Elwefati said.

As for what plans Warner will pursue after her resignation, she will continue to work on her master’s degree in public policy, continue research for her thesis and be an advocate for student voices.

“We all need more than other people can give,” Warner said.