Archive for February, 2011

Weeded out

Posted in legal, Legislation on February 28, 2011 by sergioncandido

Despite pleas from NORML’s current president and former vice president, resolution BRHR-11-03 “More Sensible Cannabis Policies,” was tabled indefinitely on Feb. 25 at the last Boca House of Representatives meeting.

The vote was 12 to eight.

With this outcome, the legislation will float in limbo until modified and reintroduced to the House.

“We don’t need to have a system that penalizes students as harsh as now,” said NORML President David Aarons during the meeting, whose student organization opposes marijuana prohibition. “We need to be at the standard of other states.”

During his speech to try to convince representatives to pass the resolution, Aarons presented 500 petitions signed by FAU students and professors in favor of a change in the current on-campus penalization system.

NORML’s former vice president also named universities that have passed similar legislation.

But the resolution also faced strong opposition from representatives and from other student organizations.

“Violent criminals and non-violent criminals should be penalized the same way,” said Jon Taylor, president of FAU’s Republican club, referring to people found in possession of marijuana. “They are all criminals.”

The resolution called for students caught with one ounce or less of marijuana on campus to be reprimanded in the same way as a student found drinking alcohol.

Currently, a student smoking marijuana inside the dorms could face expulsion while those illegally drinking alcohol will get two more chances to redeem themselves.

According to House Speaker Boris Bastidas, the legislation could be reintroduced once students get to vote on the issue, something which was scheduled to happen during these Spring elections but didn’t happen because SG wasn’t following the statutes on polling procedures.

As of now, there’s no set date for the students to be polled on the matter.

A nameless mascot and the unresolved issue

Posted in elections, president, Rules on February 25, 2011 by Brandon

FAU sent out a university-wide e-mail on Feb. 21 to remind students to vote during the 2011 Student Government elections.

As part of the ballot, students also had to vote on two questions: the name of the mascot and whether marijuana should be penalized in the same way as alcohol.

But almost 24 hours after this e-mail, Student Body President Ayden Maher sent out another e-mail saying that “Student Government believes that students should be given greater opportunity to discuss and learn about the proposed student polls that were originally scheduled to be part of this spring’s SG Election Polls.”

What happened was that, according to chapter 312.210 of the Elections Statutes, the information about the poll should have been publicized at least four weeks before the election—yet nobody bothered to check this, until the last day.

“In my opinion I felt we advertised it quite well, we sent out university-wide e-mails and made the announcement in speeches,” said Maher, who wasn’t very happy about the decision to take the questions off the ballot.

“If they want to play by protocol and say that we have to have 30 days until the questions, [that] we have to have public input and then have a hearing or a university-wide e-mail exactly one month before, then that’s what we’ll do.”

The decision to remove the questions was made by Elections Chair Thomas Levy, Associate Dean Terry Mena, SG Director Heather Bishara and Maher himself.

Current Boca campus Governor and presidential candidate Allison Gentry said she found out about the questions during the presidential debate on Feb. 15.

She not only believes that the questions were not well advertised but also that Maher tried to push the questions forward for this election to use them as part of his political platform.

“I don’t even know if students knew there was a poll. It wasn’t talked about until the last second,” Gentry said. “He might have tried to do it in the last minute to connect it back to himself. Why not wait until the fall and put it on there?”

Christopher Puchferran, the other candidate running for student body president and who will actually face Maher in a run-off election sometime next week, didn’t mind the e-mail, but rather the sender.

“I think that’s fine that they took it off, what I thought was a little sketchy was the fact that Ayden sent out an e-mail reminding everyone that that was taken off the ballot,” Puchferran said.

“I don’t know if that should have necessarily come from him when he’s on the ballot.”

But SG Director Heather Bishara said Maher felt it was part of his duties as president.

“As a student body president, he’s technically in charge of student government elections, he’s the supervisor for the elections chair and of the process,” Bishara said.

In his e-mail, Maher didn’t specify when students are going to be able to vote on these questions in the future.

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