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Early exit for Harrison
By Mark Brown
Three months is three too many for Hoops Harrison, who has decided to resign from his position as the national director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.
The announcement made by Harrison last week caught CASA and its member schools by surprise. Harrison was reluctant to explain his decision for leaving the federal student lobby organization three months before his term ended, other than to say it was for "personal reasons.
"It's not as though I am walking away mid-term," he said. Harrison added he felt the time of year was right for him to step down since the federal budget has been released and nominations for a new national director are slated to open next week.
With the budget out of the way, primary tasks for CASA will be to prepare for the election of the new national director and strengthen ties with member schools.
These responsibilities will now be left for Jeff Finer, VP-external affairs for the Student Society at McGill University, who will act as the interim national director for CASA until a new one is elected in April. Harrison will be back on contract for two weeks in April to help ensure a smooth transition.
Finer said he does not expect to have too much difficulty juggling his new role along with his obligations at McGill. "I think I will be able to handle it and I will get a lot of help."
Bruce McCrae, VP-external for the University of Alberta Students' Union, said he did not suspect Harrison's resignation was an indication of internal problems at CASA. McCrae explained the rapid pace of the organization and the constant pressure from member schools is overwhelming. "I'm not surprised he is tired."
Nick Iozzo, VP-education for Western's University Students' Council, said CASA should not feel Harrison's loss too much since CASA is member driven. He added the process to elect a new national director was already under way before Harrison announced his resignation.
Harrison will officially step down from his position on March 8.