Archive for May, 2010

’10-’11 Executive Branch, Day 1

Posted in president on May 12, 2010 by Brandon

And now for something completely different! This is an interruption of, not an end to, the series on BSU&MP.

Yesterday was the inauguration of our new executive branch of SG. From left to right: Jupiter Governor Jordy Yarnell, Broward Governor Daniela Russo, Boca Governor Allison Gentry, Student Body Vice President Evan Konecky, Treasure Coast Governor Shaunté Robinson, and Student Body President Ayden Maher.

Vice President of Student Affairs Charles Brown made opening remarks about the new leaders, saying that “We are going to be in good hands” next year, but that he is “going to hold them to their promises.” He also claimed, “FAU SGA has become the envy of the state.”

Because Interim President John Pritchett and President-elect Mary Jane Saunders — who starts June 7 — were too busy to attend, Armand Grossman came in their stead.

Grossman is a member of FAU’s governing board of trustees, and as he noted in his remarks, is one of the original FAU alums and was a founding member of Student Government in the second year of the university’s existence. With that history, he seems better than a university president for the swearing-in ceremony, anyway.

Except that he butchered Maher’s name, pronouncing it “Aydeen Pierce Meh-hair.” Maher just smiled and said it correctly as he repeated the oath of office. Then he swore in the other new officials himself.

Maher’s closing remarks were brief and pretty much echoed what he said while campaigning. Highlights:

Today is not about me or any of the people who came on stage. It’s about the student body of FAU.

We are not a UF. But I can tell you one thing: we’re going to be there in not too soon. [sic]

As your student body leader, it’s not my job to fulfill X, Y, and Z. It’s our job to fulfill things collectively. Collectively, we can get it done. But by myself, I’m just one man.

Thank you for campaigning for two months through two elections.

Go to a club meeting, join a chapter of Greek Life, get to a football game, or stumble into an SG office.

Brown returned to the stage and concluded the ceremony by egging the new leaders into doing the “Hoot Salute.” This is a newly minted tradition, apparently conceived while they were shacked up for three days of leadership training.

I can’t possibly describe it, nor did I get a photo. Hopefully Owl TV will edit it into their video coverage of the event, which I will link here.

You can contact your new president by e-mail at He’s also on Twitter as @apmaher, and Facebook as well. He has a corner office in the SG Suite, Room 215 of the Boca Student Union. And I’d like to give you his official SG number, but he doesn’t have one yet.

I asked him about it, and he told me his predecessor, recent alum Tiffany Weimar, has not yet returned her office keys or the president’s cell phone which is paid for by students’ fees. According to an e-mail from SG Director Heather Bishara, these should’ve been returned no later than last week:

Dear Student Leaders,

As the semester comes to an end and you leave your leadership positions, I need to request that you please return your office keys to Room 203 and any SG phones/equipment to the SG office no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, May 7, 2010. This is very important to our transitioning into the upcoming year.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions about this.

Thank You,

Deadlines — who needs them?

To wrap things up, I’ve had fun putting together a little multimedia presentation in honor of our new president. It turns out we have quite a few photos of Mr. Maher in the UP archives, and I couldn’t pass some of them up. The video has sound, and is about three and a half minutes. I hope that you will click here and enjoy.

[UPDATED] Toward a More Perfect Union? (Part V)

Posted in bsump on May 11, 2010 by Brandon

UPDATE: They have all made their tweets private, so the links contained herein will no longer work. PDF and slideshow remain.

Erilus, who did not respond to requests for comments, has commented on this entry, saying “I wanted to comment with my own words on this ‘report’ instead of giving it to someone who will obviously twist them around.”

I’ve incorporated some of her remarks into the body of the post as I did for those who responded earlier. I’m certainly not trying to “twist” anything or aiming to make anyone look bad; these are the statements that have been made. Read the rest of her remarks in the comments.

NOTE: Some of the language in this post may offend you. Read on at your discretion.

This post is part of a series; you can read earlier posts below.

Part I ¦ Part II ¦ Part III ¦ Part IV

I started out this series by calling it one of the most heated SG debates in some time. Today, I’ll give you some examples by highlighting public statements from leadership (or recent leadership) in BSU&MP and Konbit Kreyol.

It turns out a lot of these people are fairly prolific users of Twitter. Most of their profiles — and thus their postings, called tweets — are public. I checked their tweets for the past month, which is how long the Boca House has been debating the reform issue.

What follows are some of their most colorful statements, many of which are from April 2: the first House meeting where reform legislation was proposed and discussed, and one which several BSU&MP and Konbit Kreyol members attended.

Continue reading

Toward a More Perfect Union (Part IV)

Posted in bsump on May 7, 2010 by Brandon

[This post was part of a series. You can read the rest here: Part I ¦ Part II ¦ Part III ¦ Part V ]

Today, we’ll look at some diversity statistics for FAU, and see how it stands up to other universities. I’ve made some pretty graphs for you.

Here’s a breakdown of student ethnicity for this semester. It’s based on figures from IEA — Institutional Effectiveness and Analysis, FAU’s stats people — from this semester’s enrollment. “Unknown” doesn’t mean aliens, it means “not reported to FAU.” And “international” means “non-resident.” These are FAU’s categories.

Of course, our multicultural groups aren’t all based on ethnicity, so this isn’t a full picture of “diversity” at FAU, but it’s the closest IEA’s statistics will get us.

So, half of FAU this semester wasn’t white. But what about the historical picture? Is FAU more white or less white than it used to be? Not surprisingly, less:

This area chart represents the same data as the one above, plus the other past 32 years. Click it for the full size. It starts with ’77 because that’s when FAU started collecting ethnicity data. In that year, 86% of FAU’s 7,329 students were white — since then, we’ve become 32% more diverse. Looking at the graph, you can see we really started to diversify around 1990.

We can also compare FAU to other universities. IEA did this already with what they consider FAU national “peer institutions,” although they only track “undergraduate underrepresented minorities.” According to their little asterisk, this means “Black, Hispanic, and Native American.” Here’s a bar graph based on that column:

Again, click for the full, more readable size. This chart is based on 2009’s data. Compared to FAU’s self-selected peers, we look pretty impressive. But then, we’re the only Florida institution on there. How about a state-wide comparison? I put together one with data from the Board of Governors site:

Here, too, FAU actually looks pretty good. We rank behind FAMU (90.7% black last year) and FIU (59.6% Hispanic last year) but are more diverse than anyone else.

So in sum: we’re half-white — a full third less white than we were 30 years ago — which is decent statewide and, at least in our peer group, nationally.

Posted in blog-related on May 3, 2010 by Brandon

I realize I said to expect another post today, and unfortunately all it’s going to be is this.

In the interest of my grades, sanity, and giving sources time to preserve the same, I’m going to postpone this series of posts for a few days — my apologies. I do plan to continue before the week is out, however, so stay tuned. And good luck with the remainder of your final papers and exams.