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Undergraduate Assembly Speaker GJ Melendez-Torres, Wharton and Nursing senior, will join the Student Activities Council Executive Committee in January in place of Wharton senior and UA treasurer Ryan Houston, who resigned from SAC earlier this month.

As UA treasurer, Houston automatically received a seat on the SAC Executive Committee, explained SAC Chairman and College junior Vinay Rao. However, at the close of internal elections on Nov. 4, Houston declined the seat.

“With my other time commitments this year, I wanted to make sure that the UA’s seat would continue to be used most effectively,” Houston wrote in an e-mail. “SAC is doing great work, and I’ll continue to work closely with them.”

Every spring, the UA determines the budgets of each branch of government, including SAC. As head of the Budget Committee, the UA treasurer makes decisions regarding funds that SAC can later distribute to student groups.

Rao said his “only concern” was maintaining the relationship between the UA and SAC, and that Houston helped him find another UA member to fill his seat. He described Melendez-Torres as “a pretty solid choice.”

UA College representative and senior Ali Huberlie, also the former SAC chairwoman, said that while “it’s an unfortunate circumstance as with any resignation,” she believes that Melendez-Torres will “maintain the SAC-UA connection.”

Rao explained that Melendez-Torres will officially take his seat once the SAC constitution is amended next month to allow the SAC seat to be filled by any UA member designated by the UA president.

Melendez-Torres wrote in an e-mail that “the UA-SAC relationship is incredibly important. […] I trust that we will continue to have a great relationship!”

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