SGA President resigns unexpectedly

Past SGA President Perry Ragouzis gives a speech.

The recent resignation of Perry W. Ragouzis as president of the Student Government Association left many wondering what the future holds for VTSU-Castleton, as well as who would lead the end of the semester until the next term cycle.

Ragouzis, by all accounts, served the position of president for two years and was well respected by all who knew him. He resigned with modesty and pride for having been able to serve this important position in such an efficient manner.

He said it was with great thought and consideration that he chose to step down from his position and pass the torch. In his letter of resignation, he gave praise to those who served with and around him, as well as acknowledging his appreciation for the University and the unification changes that have taken place in recent years.

“I am so grateful and proud of all of the incredible work that this board has accomplished,” said Ragouzis in his letter of resignation submitted Monday, April 22. “I am surrounded by those far more capable, caring, and understanding than myself …So it is with great humility…that I make this my final SGA meeting.”

He laid out his objectives and accomplishments as he expressed his passion for the role and his hopes for the future of the association.

“I was elected with two clear objectives: 1) To establish a more strong, diverse, and capable student governance structure than we had prior to the merger and 2) to leave this campus with no fewer than three advisors…I have accomplished these objectives…” he said.

He then went on to state that he aimed to leave no burden to anyone who fills these shoes following his departure.

“I have successfully parsed out the entirety of all my remaining work… there isn’t much left… so that there is no one person burdened with my litany of projects and ambitions,” he said.

Former Executive Vice President, now President, Adsel Sparrow attested to this sentiment by saying, “not much has changed. I have a few more responsibilities now and more to juggle during the day, but it is manageable.”

Sparrow said she has “full support of the SGA board and advisors” and how this sudden role would be much more difficult if her team were not as “wonderful and dedicated as they are.” Despite the sudden shoes to fill, Sparrow willingly took the role and is currently finishing end-of-year projects.

“It wasn’t something I ever anticipated would occur. I respect Perry’s decision and understand that he did what he believed was best,” added Sparrow.

She went on to describe what an impact Ragouzis made in his time as president.

“Perry did so much for SGA and the student body as president in the past two years, and I am incredibly grateful for the time I worked alongside him. He is a truly remarkable leader,” she said.

As for Ragouzis, when asked to describe his experience at Vermont State University in this role, he gave an encouraging, optimistic response.

“Through the good, the bad, and the ugly, I have seen just how remarkable this campus’ community is and how resilient this student body is–-truly the embodiment of the ‘Spartan,’” he said.

And as for his experience as president of the SGA, Ragouzis said that he has met people who will be in his life “ideally forever” and that these people have made “[his] college experience and life so meaningful.”

His only expressed reason for his resignation is his aforementioned satisfaction with the accomplishments made under his direction. But the former SGA president did comment on his plans for the future, which did give some insight into the ambitions and goals that may have been hindered by his role as president to some degree.

“I will be graduating this coming year, so I am taking time to focus on my next projects and goals, with the knowledge that the Castleton SGA and campus is going to be in the safe and capable hands of a new generation of student leaders,” he said. He added that he may return to Colorado to possibly pursue a political career.

When made aware about an article regarding his resignation, Perry joked that “Unfortunately, as a student, there is no retirement package available to me, as much as I’d love one!”

He ended his resignation letter with some words of wisdom and optimism.

“I want to challenge you all to make sure that you remember why you are all doing this work… your own personal thoughts and connections you cherish… hold true to these. If you ever lose them, I guarantee you will lose any passion for the work we do,” he said. “The future of this institution is bright, but I hope to serve as a reminder that when the time comes, it’s okay to step back and let others take control.”

“It really has been one heck of a ride” he said.

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