Zachary Watts announced his resignation Thursday from Ohio University Graduate Student Senate to pursue an internship opportunity.

Elected to the position on Oct. 24, GSS Vice President for Legislative Affairs Zachary Watts has served on the Joint Governance committee after the resignation of former VPLA Christopher Glick.

In his letter of resignation, Watts said the GSS body does not promote the free exchange of ideas.

“Throughout my time this semester, in both of my positions, I have witnessed the suppression of one of the most basic principles of a democratic body. That is the free exchange of ideas,” Watts wrote in a letter. “How can a governing body function without the freedom of exchange of ideas? I do not believe that it can.” 

Watts said a group of GSS members “(preaches) inclusivity, diversity and acceptance,” but if you disagree with them, “there is no place for you in GSS.” 

Watts will be pursuing an internship Spring Semester, which will take “a significant amount” of his time, which would conflict with his duties in GSS. He said he could not disclose where the internship would be.

“The personal reason that I am resigning is because I have an opportunity next semester that will take up a significant amount of my time,” Watts said. “I went ahead and resigned today so I gave the other exec officers enough time to fill the position over break and will allow for a more smooth transition from myself to whomever the next person will be.”

GSS Vice President for Communications Becky Salami said she is grateful to have worked closely with Watts in the past few weeks. 

“During his time as VPLA, he helped increase productivity through his leadership role on the Governance committee,” Salami said in an email. “The committee has submitted many resolutions regarding the R&P that will hopefully help GSS to operate smoothly going forward.”

Salami said she is excited to see the “long-term effects of his contributions.”

Seth Baker, senator for Center for International Studies, said in an email that Watts served GSS “professionally and diligently” and he will be missed.

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