Both students and staff alike shed tears as Doug Arms, an InterVarsity staff member, gave his final address before leaving for a sabbatical he will not return from.
In December, Arms announced through a video shared with IV members that he had been asked by the Elon University chaplains to step down from his position permanently.
The Chaplain's office declined to comment.
“It had been communicated that the primary reason for this decision was the beginning of Katie and I’s relationship,” Doug said in the video.
Katie’s relationship with Doug began in 2014, in the spring of Katie’s senior year at Elon — they later married in June 2015.
Doug has been a staff member of IV for the last eight years starting in 2010 with Katie joining the staff after her graduation.
“Leaving Elon and leaving InterVarsity — that’s the hardest part,” Doug said during his speech at IV’s large group meeting tonight.
Doug’s sabbatical will begin this Friday and continue through June, but because of the university chaplain’s request he will not be returning.
Some members of IV such as President junior Nicole Plante, feel that Doug should not have been asked to step down at all.
“I don’t agree with it. I’m a little angry and a little hurt and I feel a little unheard,” Plante said.
At the end of the meeting IV staff opened the floor for members to share how they felt about Doug leaving Elon.
“When I heard the news I was just so broken,” said sophomore Jake Young.
After turning down a position in the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Doug’s plans for after his sabbatical are uncertain.
Doug refused to comment and Katie was unavailable for comment.