Parking, pot, and sex(ual orientation)

In July, Boca’s House of Reps passed 4 bills that would collectively add these six questions to the Boca campus’ fall ballot:

In August, SG President Ayden Maher vetoed all of those bills. He sent SG Vice President Robert Huffman to the House’s Aug. 5 meeting to explain the reason for the vetoes. Huffman told the House that Maher vetoed them because he “felt it was more of a university wide issue, than a Boca issue.”

Because of this, Huffman said, Maher wanted the bills to go through the Senate. This would put the questions on every campus’ ballot.

The House overrode the vetoes, and now the bills await VPSA Charles Brown’s signature (or veto).

A few hours before that House meeting, the Senate passed three bills that would put these questions on all campus’ fall ballots…

…And Maher vetoed two of them (highlighted in red).

So, why did he veto those two bills?

I’ll start with SGSS-11-10. Earlier this week, Maher told me he vetoed because:

  1. “At my last Board of Trustees meeting, I asked [Equal Opportunities Programs Director] Paula Behul and [General Counsel] David Kian, and they informed me that the amendments will be made, and that it’s going to be presented to the Board of Trustees to vote on. So, in effect, this legislation would have given students a voice to vote on regulation, but the university has already gone forward with changing the regulation.”
  2. “Additionally, I vetoed it because Student Government isn’t in the business of writing [university] policy. Student Government is in the business of advocating for students, and this legislation here is stating a question that–definitely in my opinion, people should not be discriminated against based on sexual orientation. Especially this group of people, because they are apt to discrimination and harassment. So I do think they should be protected by the university policy, but I don’t believe Student Government is in the business of writing policy.”
  3. “And, also, if students did vote on this, and they voted ‘no,’ I think it would put us in a quagmire that has students condemning the protection of people with different sexual orientation … If you make students for or against an issue regarding sexual orientation, there’s going to be a winner and a loser. I don’t think we should be in the business of condemning sexual orientation and/or approving through a student vote.”

Maher said Kian would be sending him an email regarding FAU amending its Anti-Discrimination and Harassment policy. At 1:56 p.m. on Thursday, he sent me a text that said, “Just wanted to let you know that I should be getting an email from legal council [sic] soon regarding the sexual orientation b [sic].” As of this writing, it seem he hasn’t received it yet. Or, if he has, he hasn’t sent it to me.

Now, on to SGSS-11-11. Maher said he didn’t want to risk a “no” vote on the sexual orientation question, but was confident students would vote “yes” on SGSS-11-11’s questions. “Well, I think the general consensus of the student body would vote in favor of having a warning system for tickets. I don’t think there’s one group students that are impacted by the vote of ‘no.'”

Maher said his reasoning for vetoing SGSS-11-12 was similar to his reasoning for vetoing SGSS-11-10: administration is already taking care of the problem. He got this email from IRM Chief Technology Officer Mehran Basiratmand, and forwarded it the Boca House’s members:

Hi,

As a follow-up to our phone conversion regarding IRM servers and services, we would like to update you on several key initiatives currently underway to improve service delivery to our students:

Blackboard Service:
Blackboard application was migrated to new servers last week in anticipation of heavy Fall schedule and usages. These new servers will improve access to the grade book and will render images much faster.

Google Application:
FAU students will be able to opt-in to use Google application starting September 12th, 2011. There will be a channel in MyFAU providing instruction to students to setup their FAU Gmail and Google apps.
Information related to this service is being developed, and FAU Helpdesk is in the process of receiving training. Each student will have 7GB of gmail storage which is likely to increase as soon as Google completes their infrastructure upgrade within a few months.
This is about 200 times more space than is currently allocated for e-mail messages on FAU servers.

New Registration System:***
IRM is in the process of finalizing server purchases to replace the aging systems supporting the Admissions, Financial Aid, Registration, Payroll and Human Resources applications. New storage has already been purchased, received and installed.
If all goes as plan, the upgrade to the new servers will take place during the Fall term on a week-end with minimal impact on our students and other university activities.

Jason Ball, our CIO will be in the office tomorrow. I think it would be a good idea to invite Jason to provide a briefing on all IRM initiatives to your cabinets and SG Senate meeting in early Fall.
As you might already know FAU new mobile applications are shortly being deployed as well as. Recently, we also launched new web based, easy-to-use graduate and undergraduate admission applications.

Hope this information helps. If you need any additional info, please feel free to contact me.

Regards

Mehran Basiratmand
Chief Technology Officer
Enterprise Computing Services
Information Resource Management
Florida Atlantic University
561-297-0220

Emphasis mine.

That sums up Maher’s stated reason for vetoing the tech ballot question. It seems that MyFAU and BlackBoard will run more smoothly if things go according to plan.

I should also note that the marijuana question (BRHB-11-28) was not brought up in an equivalent Senate Bill. I requested all summer Senate legislation from VP Robert Huffman. None said anything about putting BRHB-11-28’s question on this fall’s university-wide ballot.

In any case, the House bills’ vetoes were overridden, and now await the VPSA’s approval or veto. If they pass, then Boca campus students will get to vote their opinion on more stuff than other campus’ students.

But even if voters feel strongly about a particular issue, that does not mean administration has to comply with ballot questions’ results.

Stay tuned.

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3 Responses to “Parking, pot, and sex(ual orientation)”

  1. […] also vetoed SGSS-11-11. You can read more about that bill here. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  2. […] parking ticket policy. In August, the Boca House and SG Senate tried to put a question on the fall ballot asking students if they […]

  3. […] the House tried to poll students on the technology fee in August, SG President Ayden Maher vetoed the bill.Jason Ball, Chief Information Officer of Information Resource Management, expects new […]

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