Craig Resigns as Chief of Staff, Rhone Steps Up


David Olinarian

Formr chief of staff and Pennsylvania native Dax Craig reflects on his decision to depart from the Student Government Association “No Limit Administration” on Jan. 18.

Christine Shelton, Editor-in-Chief

Not every university’s Student Government Association (SGA) is perfect, nor is it designed to be, but similar to a real democracy, internal problems can form between personnel and extend beyond repair. In cases like this, the parties involved may choose to part ways amicably, and that is what former Chief of Staff Dax Craig, Jr., decided was the best choice when he resigned from his position on Jan. 18.

“I stepped down due to personal disagreements I had with the administration. There were instances in which I felt that we, as an SGA, weren’t doing enough for our students, and that pushed me to the decision to resign,” said Craig, explaining his initial reason for resigning.

With this being his third year in SGA, he has built quite the pedigree for himself in student government. Craig started out as a senator-at-large his sophomore year back in 2018, where he wrote and implemented several bills and resolutions, and recently, at the beginning of this academic school year in 2020, he was sworn in as chief of staff.

“As chief of staff, I have edited all SGA correspondence before it was sent out to the students. I created templates for various important documents including letters, proposals, certificates, etc.,” Craig began, condensing a list of his duties and accomplishments throughout the duration of his term. “With assistance from my former interns, Dasani Stallworth and Meadow Williams, I developed both the contracts and the guidelines for the SGA Internship Program. I organized a progress report system for the Executive Branch Committees and directed future operations for each committee.”

These ratifications are only a fraction of the things Craig has accomplished while in this position. He claims to always hit the ground running with ideas on how to make Alabama State University better for its student body. 

“I believe that I have served my time efficiently and effectively, not only as chief of staff but also throughout my terms as a senator-at-large. The SGA is the organization that I have put most of my attention and effort into, so I have mixed feelings about departing,” said Craig.

Upon his decision to part from SGA, Craig did not want to leave the SGA in incapable hands, which urged him to choose former Attorney General Trentqual Rhone as his successor. He and Rhone trained under Student Life Coordinator Kenneth Dean, J.D., to become constitutionally literate during their freshman year, and they had both worked side-by-side in the Senate to then become chief of staff and the attorney general. 

“I believe that Trentqual is the only other person who could take on the responsibility of chief of staff and excel in it. Before resigning, I spoke with him about stepping in for me, and he voiced his willingness to accept the position. I did not want to leave the No Limit Administration with an inadequate and unequipped replacement, so I am relieved that Trentqual accepted the position once I left,” said Craig.

Like Craig, Rhone has spent the better part of his college career dedicating his time and effort to student government. He acts no differently when deciding to step up as the new chief of staff.

“It was actually a couple of steps down, according to the Order of Succession,” Rhone jokes. “But, definitely a step up, in terms of the workload. The SGA Attorney General ensures that all officers follow SGA rules and regulations and seeks disciplinary action when need be. But, besides a late and rocky start [lack of visibility from the executive branch and no legislation from the legislative branch], all three branches made some positive steps and executed most of their duties last fall.”

As time passed, Rhone began to feel “out of the loop” when it came to decision-making, so he jumped at the chance to be more involved once the former chief of staff resigned. However, if the circumstances were different, Rhone would continue serving in his former position as attorney general.

“I did not mind not having much to do when it comes to SGA because I could focus on other things. Having an attorney general who was not attached to any specific branch did not make officers feel as comfortable to disregard rules and procedures as they probably would have been if the AG was intertwined,” said Rhone. “While I did not have much to do, people were aware that I did not have a problem holding anyone accountable if need be. That was all I was required to do, per the SGA Constitution.”

Rhone recognizes the transition from attorney general to chief of staff will put him at the forefront of decision making, and although he had grown content with being attorney general, he seems ready to take on the challenge.

“While as the attorney general, I was much more withdrawn, so the new responsibilities might be a bit of an adjustment. However, having worked with the executive officers and several standing committees’ chairs before makes stepping into the chief of staff role easier,” said Rhone. “I plan to continue many of the former chief of staff’s projects [i.e., a transition packet for future administration, which is much needed and spearheading the internship program]. I also plan to assist the executive branch, and the SGA in general, in planning and implementing their projects. I now have more of a voice in some of the more intimate, behind-the-scenes meetings, so I plan to continue working in our best interests.”

With Rhone assuming the new role of chief of staff, the next appointed attorney general is still under advisement.