The Quirks [June 4, 2010 Edition]

Last week’s meeting was significantly shorter than the previous one. It’s always a good thing when my laptop battery doesn’t die before the meeting’s out.

Only two of the newly sworn-in representatives returned, maybe because of the previous meeting’s length. Five others are likely to be kicked out of the House this week due to excessive absences. That’ll drop the count to 27 — even though the House has 42 seats total.

Actually, according to the SG Constitution, it seems they should currently have 43. Article III, Section 3A.:

Each Campus House of Representatives shall consist of five (5) seats plus one (1) seat for every five hundred (500) students represented on each of the campus groupings based on unduplicated head count enrollment from the previous spring semester.

FAU estimates indicate the Boca campus had 19,261 students this past spring semester, working out to 38 additional seats.

Regardless, they only have 27 now, and attendance is particularly important in summer — when there are fewer people in the House — because of a parliamentary concept called quorum.

Without at least half the current membership of the House showing up, they can’t officially hold meetings and conduct their business. That happened for committee meetings last week, too, so none of the legislation they sent to committee the week before was properly considered. (They figured out a technical workaround that involved “undoing” decisions from the previous week — but legislation will be covered in a separate entry, as before.)

Oh, that extra money I mentioned being transferred to the Speaker’s account last week? He spent it on “1600 reversible basketball jerseys, one side white, one side red.” Speaker Josh Pollock said they plan to give out at least half of them to incoming freshmen, possibly at orientation, in an effort to “boost school spirit from the ground up.” Beats leaving the money in an untouchable account.

I’ll wrap up with some interesting statements from the meeting:

“I was approached by the LGBT community at FAU … they would like to have a counseling or safe zone, one central location they can go to…any feedback you can give me on this issue would be helpful.”

“I’m still interviewing for a chief of staff and Evan is still looking for someone as well… I encourage you to apply.” [It’s an annual salary of over $5500. E-mail him if interested.]

— Student Body President Ayden Maher

“[Legislation] is like a sculpture, like a block, and we chip away at it until it’s finished. You don’t like my metaphor?”

— Speaker Pro-Tempore Nicholas Scalice

“Both rounds of paperwork for the ADA [disabilities-friendly] golf cart that were traveling around on their epic journey have made it through.”

— NightOwls Director Jon Waller

“If things are taken down when they aren’t supposed to [be], I’d be a little worried about that. One person isn’t as scary to me as multiple people,” referencing the idea of allowing SG representatives to update their own poorly maintained website.

— SG Director Heather Bishara

“I want to go on record supporting students at FAU for their right to free speech.”

—  Director of Student Media Marti Harvey

“How is it you hire this new position, and set a new vision for student media, and the students in those organizations don’t even know what the mission or vision is? The problem I see is, [Marti Harvey says] ‘I need someone in the office full-time,’ but I see the students put their hands up and say ‘he’s there for us.’ What’s more important, someone from Student Affairs needing someone or the students?”

— Campus Action Chair Boris Bastidas

“I want to go on record supporting students at FAU for their right to free speech” – Harvey

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5 Responses to “The Quirks [June 4, 2010 Edition]”

  1. Brandon,

    This is an excellent recap of the meeting. I applaud you for being so attentive. It is nice to see such comprehensive coverage of what we do. I wish every student would read your blog. That is what transparency is all about. Oh, and thanks for the quote reference. I thought it was an apt description of the process.

    Sincerely,
    Nicholas Scalice

    Speaker Pro Tempore
    FAU Student Government
    Boca Raton House of Representatives

  2. Representative Owens Says:

    Looks like Pro Tempore Scalice beat me to it, but an enjoyable post all the same. I think it’d be great if we included your blog into any upcoming advertising efforts SG undertakes, so more students outside of Student Government itself can start reading about our goings-ons. Not that SG readership is a bad thing, but sometimes it gets a little silly when all you have is wannabe watchmen watching the watchman who’s watching the… Well, you get the idea.

    House numbers have always been tough to maintain throughout the summer, and we definitely need to start searching for new ways to boost interest. While meetings certainly seem to go a little quicker with fewer members around, it’s very troubling when it doesn’t feel like all of FAU is being represented. I’d much rather have things take a little more time and be done properly than miss out on key input from a segment of our constituency.

    I did find it a little curious, however, that you didn’t specifically mention the passing of the Freedom of Speech resolution which has recently caused so much ado — I’m sure more than a few people are eager to learn about what’s happened with that. The whole concern over the inclusion of the YAF clause seems like it would make for vaguely interesting discussion, at the very least.

    Regardless, keep up the good work. I find myself checking this blog for updates nearly every day now, and I’m sure plenty of others share my enthusiasm. I’ll try to chime in whenever I have a comment worth no less than two cents. This is, I hear, the standard minimum.

    Matthew Owens
    House Representative

  3. Representative Owens brings up some great points, especially on the coverage of the Freedom of Speech resolution. Hopefully you just have a much bigger article in the works on that resolution alone and you didn’t want to spoil it too early. 🙂

    I especially liked Representative Owens reference to “wannabe watchmen watching the watchman who’s watching the….” That made me laugh, but at the same time it is very true. Sometimes it feels like we live in an “SG bubble” that we can’t escape from. This is unfortunate when our main goal is to positively impact the lives of students who are NOT a part of SG.

    But, I have hope, thanks especially to the free and open exchange of information available here, in the UP and what will soon be available thanks to the recent efforts to update the student government website on a regular basis.

    Speaker Pro Tempore
    FAU Student Government
    Boca Raton House of Representatives

  4. Boris,

    You be careful wielding the truth around like that. Student Affairs doesn’t take kindly to it.

    Karla

  5. Brandon Says:

    Representatives,

    Thanks for reading. I appreciate your interest and intelligent comments — much nicer to read than the all-too usual fare of, “You’re biased! This is trashy! The UP hates everyone!”

    Of course, this entry wasn’t particularly critical — others you might not want to advertise as much. But I’ve seen you both make mature responses to things you disagree with on Karla’s blog, which is a very encouraging sign.

    I do intend to discuss the passing of the free speech resolution, in a separate entry on this past week’s legislation to be posted tomorrow or Thursday.

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