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“Our club is in crisis”: Two more College Dems executive members resign after SBP endorsement incident

Following the resignation of three executive positions in the Miami University College Democrats (Dems), two more executive members have chosen to resign.

Former Events Coordinator chair, Sidra Capriolo, and the former Vice President, Nav Chima,  chose to resign following the Student Body President endorsement incident that involved a member of the Black Student Action Association (BSAA). 

The incident happened at a March 10 Dems meeting in which members of the Dems organization asked Gina Rindeour, BSAA’s Social Cultural Co-Chair, to prove that Vada Stephens was the only candidate to ask for BSAA’s input on his campaign platform.

Rindeour recounted feeling as though she was met with “hostility” and that members demanded that she have proof to back up everything that she had said.

After  the incident three members of Dems’ executive board, President Omar Elghazawi, Membership Director Wes Payne and Treasurer Ian Chenkus stepped down. After the initial resignations, Capriolo and Chima also chose to resign.

Capriolo declined to comment about her resignation, but said she hopes the organization is able to make a change. Chima did not respond to requests for a comment.

“I am looking forward to seeing the organization hopefully elect a new board that will prioritize equitable change and inclusion, which is something MUCD has struggled with,” Capriolo wrote in an email to The Miami Student.

Though two executive board members did not resign in the wake of the incident, Dems is holding special elections for all its executive positions on April 7. 

Communications Chair and sophomore political science major Jett Young, along with Dems Secretary and first-year political science major Terius Madrigal have decided to remain in the organization and run for different executive positions in the upcoming special election. 

Young is currently running unopposed for president and Madrigal is running for vice president.

Madrigal said the executive members who resigned faced harsh criticism from other members of the organization who wanted to see an all new executive board after what happened, although no one was voted out by no confidence votes. 

Madrigal said he believes many executive members felt as though leaving their positions on the executive board would be best for their mental health.

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Madrigal also said there has been a drop off in meeting attendance after the March 10 incident. 

“Our club is in crisis,” Madrigal said. “A lot of our members have backed away because the environment has become chaos.”  

Eli Davies, first-year political science major and urban and regional planning double-major, is one of the general members who has stepped away from Dems. 

“Honestly, when most of the drama started, I distanced myself from the organization,” Davies wrote in an email to The Student.

Other members are unsure of what the future holds for the Dems.

“They’re in trouble unless they really shake up the leadership plan,” said a Dems member who spoke under the condition of anonymity. “I think there is potential for it, but I don’t know right now.”

Madrigal has hope for the future of the organization. He isn’t leaving Dems because he believes that the organization is important and that trying to lead it in the right direction is what’s needed right now. 

“I really want to see the club restored, and it’ll depend on what happens in the next few months and how we handle things,” Madrigal said. “But regardless, the goal is to rebuild.”