Local News
World News
Campus News
Police Beat


news Sports Opinions arts variety interact Wildcat On-Line QuickNav

Four dorm association executives resign at meeting

By David J. Cieslak
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 12, 1999
Send comments to:


Eric M. Jukelevics
Arizona Daily Wildcat

RHA executive board members (clockwise from top left) Evin Abromowitz, Crystal Johnson, Dawn Morford and Leeann Kovac hug last night after giving their resignation speeches at the RHA meeting.

Four executive members of the UA's Residence Hall Association resigned suddenly last night, citing their inability to work with the organization's president.

RHA President Matthew Meaker made long-distance phone calls on the organization's dime, and the group held a trial last week in an effort to remove him from office.

Their attempt failed, as RHA members voted 21-13 to keep Meaker in office.

But the four executives refused to accept the decision, and resigned their positions during last night's meeting.

"This hurts me more than it hurts you," said Leeann Kovac, RHA's national communications coordinator. Kovac's voice quivered as she delivered her statement to the audience.

"I will not force myself to work with a man who I do not respect and I do not trust," she said. "He stole from you and he stole from me and the other 4,800 residents who pay a portion of their housing fees to RHA."

Meaker refused comment after the meeting, but last week he admitted to making the calls, saying he used the RHA phone only when his mother paged him from their home in northern Arizona.

Meaker said he made no special efforts to exploit RHA.

But the executives told RHA members last week that Meaker stole from the organization and should be removed from office.

After a vote by student representatives of University of Arizona residence halls, Meaker was allowed to remain president, leaving the four executives furious.

"I feel the organization has been deceived and manipulated," said Dawn Morford, vice president for programming.

Crystal Johnson, RHA's vice president for public relations, gave awards to her staff members before announcing her resignation.

"I've considered all my options and realize my decision is the most ethical one," she said. "To me, values are more important than any position."

RHA Finance Director Evin Abromowitz also cited her conscience when she gave her statement to meeting members.

"I cannot continue, in good conscience, to perform my duties," she said. "The events that have taken place conflict with my beliefs of what is right and what is wrong."

After the women walked out of the room, Meaker said their resignations were not surprising.

"I anticipated that this might happen," he said.

Meaker said RHA will begin looking for replacements and should have a new executive board in place by Thursday.

Rebecca Zilm, RHA's vice president for services, said she had planned for the executive board members' resignations.

"I knew they we're going to do it and we'll go on and be stronger than we ever were," Zilm said.