Third year undergraduate Jane Footick stormed out of Aspiring Achievers’ third GBM of spring quarter where, despite her significant prior sacrifices that brought the organization to where it is now, she was not elected treasurer for the following school year.
“I can’t say I’m anything but disappointed,” she said. “I’m very disappointed. I’m also angry. And frustrated. God, I’m disappointed.”
Aspiring Achiever is a student club that was established in late September 2015 by Footick and her roommates, Dominic Barton and Karen Mazer, soon after the school year started.
“In my first two years here I found myself looking for a group that I could be in to mildly push myself to achieve,” she stated in a self-taped interview dated October 2015 on the club’s history. “There are so many academic clubs on campus, but they have a wide host of problems — some only attract specific majors or interests, some are restricted by GPA, and some are just a little too achieving.
“There wasn’t a comfortable place where people simply thought about and potentially put a moderate amount of effort into achieving decent academic goals, so my roommates and I founded Aspiring Achievers to create just a place.”
In the past year, the three founders all held positions on the club’s executive board, where Mazer served as president and Barton as treasurer. Footick voluntarily served as an advisory board member, as she “wanted to give Dominic and Karen the opportunity to exercise their strengths and see their vision for the org through.”
“I can always step up next year,” she continued in the October interview. “I don’t mind helping from behind the scenes anyways.”
The results of the elections reportedly took everyone by surprise since early polling, conducted as exit polls at the first GBM of the quarter by Footick, put Footick ahead of Barton by 100 percentage points. “Are you going to vote for me?” she was heard asking various members leaving the study room. “Are you? Are you?”
The competition between Footick and Barton in the weeks leading up to the election created a tangible rift between their close roommates and friends.
“She was so supportive and helpful through the uphill battle we fought to get this club going,” said Barton. “Always cheering us on, correcting our grammar in club emails after we sent them, and posting on Facebook to encourage higher attendance at the semi-quarterly GBMs. Now she wants to be treasurer, which I get, but we can’t argue with the members’ votes. It’s just unfortunate that this has to get between our friendship.”
Despite the polls and her continued efforts in benefiting the organization, Footick lost to Barton in the election by a five-vote margin, almost 75 percent of the membership base. Even though she was the main author of the club constitution, she had no legal standing against his re-election, as the constitution has a clause stating that any officer can be re-elected for a second year term.
This clause was a significant source of controversy for the founding members, as Barton and Mazer both considered it unhealthy for the organization’s officers to hold the same position two years in a row. Footick managed to convince them otherwise, saying at the time that “an excellent leader shouldn’t be disallowed from continuing their excellence.”
“I stand by what I said about that clause,” she said after the vote, “but how can you vote to continue someone’s strong leadership if there’s so obviously an even stronger leader right next to them?”
“After all,” she concluded, “I had the largest signature on that constitution. If that doesn’t deserve control of the treasury, I don’t know what does.”