George Barton has resigned as the President of the Auckland University Students Association (AUSA).
In a post published to the AUSA’s Facebook page last Wednesday night, the association announced that Barton would be stepping down on the 3rd of August “so he can go back to study and finally finish his degree”.
“While we are incredibly sad to see him step down from a role that he is so passionate about, we are stoked that he will finally be able to finish what he came to the University of Auckland to do.”
Education Vice-President Emma Rogers would be taking over as Acting President until the current term ends on November 30th.
Barton told Craccum during an interview that he had considered resigning for a while.
“Studying is really important and I haven’t studied in 3 semesters, so I should probably go back to that.”
“Emma [Rogers] mentioned that she had graduated and it seems like the perfect time and opportunity to make a great switch.”
However, he had not ruled out leaving AUSA completely, saying he would fill the vacant position of treasurer or secretary if appointed by the Executive under the new Constitution.
Rogers said she was excited to take over the role, and her focus would be on the AUSA and upcoming general elections in September, as well as the strategic plan for the university.
Barton, who took over for Anand Rama as Acting President in May 2019 and was later elected as the 2020 President, has seen through many new initiatives and university policies.
Key moments include the creation of the university’s Code of Conduct earlier this year, negotiating the relocation of Shadows, and establishing the AUSA student council.
Barton also guided the AUSA through the COVID-19 lockdown and online learning last semester, led the AUSA in providing a number of support services to students throughout the lockdown and negotiated with the university to implement a 5% grade boost for Semester One papers.
Barton’s resignation comes at a time of change for the AUSA, with its annual elections looming this semester and the terms of all currently elected representatives ending on November 30th.
AUSA has also just established a new student support hub, which the remaining Executive and staff will continue to oversee.