AUSG issued the following statement on Nov. 3, 2017.
On Tuesday, October 31, 2017, AUSG President Taylor Dumpson notified the Director of the Center for Advocacy and Student Equity, Will Mascaro, that he was removed from his position in AUSG. This action was not taken lightly, nor is it an indictment on Will’s character or work ethic.
There is no doubt that the work Will has done for students over the past three and a half years as part of AUSG has benefitted the greater student body, and AUSG colleagues past and present will surely agree.
However, accountability is essential to the operation of any organization. For the better part of this year, as SAC Director under President Torriente and CASE Director under President Dumpson, Will worked on a student rights card project that would see informational cards placed in each residence hall room.
The AUSG executive board is fully in support of the concept of the student rights cards as conceived by Will and his team. At no time was the concept of the project dismissed by the executive board.
Will Mascaro was removed from his position as CASE Director because students are on the hook for $3,800 worth of cards in a purchase that was not authorized by University Center & Student Activities, the university department that oversees all student organizations and our finances.
That final step in the financial approval process has been in place for years, and should come as no surprise to current members of AUSG, including Will, who served as the Senate Finance Committee Chair during his time in the Undergraduate Senate.
Ultimately, UCSA held CASE accountable for spending nearly $4,000 without their approval, and now AUSG has taken action.
While the funds have not yet been spent by AUSG, the invoice is in the hands of UCSA and the payment was awaiting resolution of this matter. To be clear, the cards were produced and delivered and student money will have to be spent to cover this charge.
Student money is a privilege to work with as student leaders; we can’t take a cent for granted. This is why such approval processes exist, to ensure every dollar of your student activity fee is spent with oversight from a university administrator.
Again, the fact that this situation is about the student rights cards is inconsequential to the fact that Will unfortunately did not have final approval before the cards were produced and AUSG was invoiced. We will continue to work with CASE and other student representatives to make these cards a reality.
This was a difficult conclusion to come to. The executive board has enjoyed working with Will, and again, we thank him for his service to the student body. His removal from the leadership of CASE does not inhibit him from continuing to work as an advocate for students in the conduct process as a CASE advocate.
Regarding CASE leadership, an interim director from within CASE has been appointed to manage the department until the application process for a permanent director for the remainder of this academic year is conducted.