Governor’s Appointments

The most interesting aspect of last week’s House meeting was arguably the governor’s picks for director positions, since no legislation was passed or introduced. These students, appointed by Boca Gov. Allison Gentry, will have some money to play with next year:

Mariana Ortigosa, who has been the director of Students Advocating Volunteer Involvement for two years now, was approved by the House without fuss. SAVI’s $22,000 budget goes to organizing things like blood and clothing donation drives, or community service opportunities.

Robert Huffman is a newcomer who was also, surprisingly, appointed as the Council of Student Organizations director without much discussion. He’ll oversee a substantial budget of student money — over $283,000 — and dole it out to student clubs.

Marketing Director Marcus Washington was the most disputed appointee — he held the position last year and it seems some people in SG weren’t quite sure what he did.

Representative Kristina Fritz asked, “Could you provide examples of what you did to promote Student Government last year?”

Washington responded, “Pretty much Stress Week.” Then he started remembering other initiatives, like getting SG mentioned on screensavers in campus computer labs, and “also doing simple stuff like putting things on Facebook.”

He also mentioned talks of “making a[n SG] street team, kind of like Owl Radio has” and “looking to put together a Student Government logo instead of the FAU one,” but those were, uh, future tense examples.

Representative Shamal Williams then asked, “Are you doing any case studies, speaking with students directly?”

Washington: “I’m just going to all the events, and I know what I’m looking for in events and I try to piggyback off that with the directors.”

Representative Guilherme Massetti had a gripe about election turnout: “We had a 5% turnout in elections, are you satisfied with that and can you do anything about that?”

Washington started explaining, “my job description, I wouldn’t be able to do much about that,” when Speaker Josh Pollock interrupted to say that’s the job of the election chair — a university-wide position — and not the Boca marketing director’s.

After hearing these responses, Fritz formally objected to Washington’s re-appointment and forced the House to vote on it.

Sounding slightly alarmed, Washington interjected, “Does everybody understand my job description? I’m not sure everybody does.”

In the end, Washington got to keep his job, with a vote of 15 to 5.

Afterward came the appointment of Gentry’s new chief of staff, representative Matthew Owens, who tried to lighten the mood by “introducing” himself to the House he’s served in for more than a year. Sad to go, he said, “I think this is an opportunity for me to go on and help this university grow as much as possible.” He expressed an interest in working on BSU&MP reform and his own projects.

I’m sad to see him go, myself — he was one of the most serious and competent people I’ve seen in the House. But I’m glad he’s moving up.

Owens was confirmed with only one small hitch — Massetti motioned to approve him for the position of “chief justice.”

Gentry then asked the House to recreate a new (old) position, attorney general. She described it as, “a way to hold ourselves more accountable, I guess, instead of waiting for other people to tell us we’re doing something wrong.” Sounds good. Maybe you could give him the marketing director’s salary.

That position is open, but will probably be unpaid. If you’re interested, you can e-mail the governor at her new generic address, fau.bocagov@fau.edu.

Also re-opened is the position of BSU&MP Director; Gentry tells me that it’s “being reposted for another 2 weeks in order to get more qualified applicants.” Apply here for that.

Tomorrow: The quirky hodge-podge of everything else worth mentioning from last week’s meeting.

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5 Responses to “Governor’s Appointments”

  1. Excellent overview of the events of the House meeting. I am especially saddened to see Mr. Owens leave us. As you said, he was one of the very best reps. I know he’ll do a great job in his new position.

  2. No Longer Representative Owens Says:

    Thank you so much for the kind words, both of you. Its a great feeling to know that my time in the House was spent well enough to earn such praise.
    Rest assured I’ll still be around the SG office and House meetings a great deal, just working in a slightly different capacity. In fact, one of my top goals as Chief of Staff will be to act as an effective communicator between the Legislative and Executive branch, hopefully eliminating some degree of the confusion and misinformation that occasionally plagues our various processes. It’s my hope that this will allow for a smoother, more efficient, and more informed Student Government, better and more quickly able to serve the needs of the Student Body.
    I really do look forward to my continued work with everyone. Thank you, once again.

    Matthew Owens
    Governor’s Chief of Staff
    FAU Boca Raton Campus

  3. Would anyone care to explain how COSO decides how much money it gives out to each club? Thanks!

  4. Mike,

    It’s a bit complicated to explain in brief, but you can read COSO’s policies here:

    http://www.fau.edu/sil/clubhouse/COSO_Funding_Policy-2010.pdf

    But there are a number of factors, including how well you’ve documented your events in the past, how many people attend, whether you work with other organizations, the impact or importance of your events, how you manage all the paperwork and meetings you’re supposed to attend, etc.

    If you have specific questions, I’d contact the outgoing COSO director, Josephine Severe, at jsevere1@fau.edu.

    Cheers,
    Brandon.

  5. Guil Massetti Says:

    What the Marketing Director apparently fails to understand is that, by promoting SG events, he promotes SG as a whole. As a result, more people vote. It’s not that hard to understand.

    Nobody is satisfied with what he did last year, but I’m confident the new governor will make sure he does his job right this time around.

    Guil Massetti

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