SA Treasurer Resigns
Khan steps down following $300,000 Virtual Academix scandal
Student Association Treasurer Sikander Khan moved $300,000 to a new line in the SA budget on March 22 after he had signed a contract with Virtual Academix on March 13. Reimon Bhuyan /// The Spectrum
Sikander Khan's official letter of resignation.
As of 1:50 p.m. on Friday afternoon, Sikander M. Khan has resigned from his position as SA Treasurer, effective immediately, following the $300,000 Virtual Academix scandal and police investigation.
Khan declined comment for the time being.
The decision comes five days after the Senate began a petition to initiate Khan's recall. At Sunday's Senate meeting, the voting members chose to suspend Khan's pay until the end of the school year.
"I feel that whether he resigned because he felt guilty or because he saw the petition - [either] is good enough for me," said Senate Chair Darwinson Valdez. "The job, as I consider it, has been done. He has resigned; he is removed from office as of now."
"A week less of him working is money saved from the mandatory student activity fee - $250 is about two and half students' mandatory activity fees that we just saved from somebody who wasn't doing ethical work for the students and for the Senate that trusts in the treasurer's words to make its decisions," Valdez said.
The SA Assembly backed the petition during its last meeting on Wednesday. Assembly Speaker Steven Jackson said he understands Khan's reasons for quitting, as Jackson said Khan must've known the petition was going around and things were not in his favor.
The Spectrum asked incoming SA President Travis Nemmer if he was surprised by the resignation.
"Yes and no," Nemmer said. "There's been so little communication on the topic that we didn't know what to expect. It's crossed my mind that he might resign; it's crossed my mind that he might be holding out for a [Student-Wide Judiciary] hearing. But at the end of the day, we didn't really expect it."
Nemmer was in a meeting in the SA office when Khan entered, put his resignation on a table in front of Nemmer, and said: "Here you go, guys."
Nemmer's reply? He simply said: "All right."
"It was a shockingly unremarkable event," Nemmer said.
Current President JoAnna Datz sent out an email within an hour of the resignation. She appointed Treasurer-elect Justin Neuwirt to begin immediately. The Senate approved Datz's appointment unanimously during Sunday's meeting; he will take office 8 days early.
Engineering Coordinator Dan Pastuf, who wrote a new tentative budget when Khan failed to provide one to the Senate by the April 14 deadline, said he didn't expect the resignation whatsoever, but he thinks the move is imperative for SA to move forward.
He expected Khan to fight for his position.
"I think [the resignation] was more on his own terms," Pastuf said. "That he either got sick of dealing with it or decided: 'the time has come, I've had enough.'"
Additional reporting by Managing Editor Rebecca Bratek
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