Archive for September, 2011

Legislative update [September 23, 2011 edition]

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2011 by Chris Persaud

This update by UP reporter Dylan Bouscher:

New members of the Boca House of Representatives were sworn in on Sept 23.

Highlights from the meeting:

Boris Bastidas reelected as House Speaker for Fall term (31 Yes, 1 No)

Kevin Varela reelected Pro-Tempore for Fall Term (Unanimous approval, won by default, lacked opposition)

Rep. Justin Wu objected to approving minutes of Sept. 9 meeting, claiming that pages were missing from the agenda. Bastidas immediately moved to a roll call vote on objection to approve minutes. Despite discrepancy pointed out by Wu and a “No” vote from Bastidas himself, who admitted there may have been an error made, minutes approved in vote of 20 Yes; 12 No.

SBP & VP Report given by Exec. Asst. Jason Edwards.

Rep. Wu spoke passionately about SG President Ayden Maher’s absence, concluding with “Ayden is our representative to the Board of Trustees, Not the Board’s representative to us!” The last House meeting Maher attended in person was in July.

Rep. Wu pointed out that Allen West’s wife serves on FAU’s Board of Trustees, and the House’s recently failed efforts to change sexual orientation language in Reg 5.010 relate back to West.

Promotion of the College Shirt Swap on Oct. 4th (Exchange a non-FAU college shirt for a new FAU shirt)

Proposal of a bobble head handout during the first game at the new FAU Football Stadium

[COSO recap] September 26, 2011

Posted in COSO on September 27, 2011 by Chris Persaud

Here’s a quick brief on COSO’s meeting yesterday. But first, here’s the list of clubs approved for COSO’s computer-equipped work stations and locker rooms:

Computers

Carribean Student Association

College Republicans

Film Club

Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students

Owl Rangers

Lockers

Alpha Psi Lambda Co-Ed Latin Fraternity, Inc.

Catch the Fire

Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc.

Traditional Gaming Club

The Gems

VOX: Voice for Planned Parenthood

Looking at a previous post, every club that applied got in. However, there are still computers and lockers without a club to fill them. This will be investigated further.

For now, here’s a recap of the Sept. 26 COSO meeting by UP reporter Mailyn Abreu:

Student club Tree of Life asked for funding for their future events. Their representative said they wanted to buy key chains as prizes for the people who attend their events.

After the petition from Tree of Life, and a discussion about how many events they would fund, Special Interest Chair AJ Einbinder said “It’s not that we don’t want to give you the money, we want to help every organization but we don’t have enough money for every club.”

COSO decided to fund key chains and three of their events — two in October and one in November. Total amount approved: $760.

COSO Director Ella Tepper said there were no more clubhouse approvals and that COSO’s still accepting applications on a “rolling basis.”

The meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.

SG’s rules and FAU’s rules

Posted in president on September 24, 2011 by Chris Persaud

In the UP‘s latest cover story, “Maher’s Money,” I wrote that the SG President must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA.

According to Article IV, Section 2, subsection A of SG’s constitution:

The student must have a minimum overall cumulative and previous
semester GPA of 2.5.

Turns out that’s wrong.

According to section 10(f)3 of FAU regulation 4.006 (which governs SG’s and other student organizations’ rules):

To be eligible to hold elected or appointed office in any  Student Organization, a
student  must  meet  University  standards.

Maintain  a  2.7  or  higher  for  cumulative  and  previous  term  institutional
grade  point  average  and  be  in  good  academic  standing  in  their
undergraduate,  graduate  or  professional  program  to  run  and  hold  the
Student Government positions of Student Body President, Vice President,
Campus Governor and Student Court Justice.

And according to Section X, Section 1 of SG’s constitution:

The provisions of the Student Body Constitution are
governed by and subordinate to the Constitution and laws of the United
States and the State of Florida as well as the regulations and policies of the
Board of Governors and the Regulations and policies of Florida Atlantic  
University.

Emphasis mine.

So there you go. Looks like the rules governing SG extend beyond their constitution and statutes.

Come to think of it, I did point out an apparent SG-FAU contradiction in an opinion piece a few weeks ago. Back then, I wrote:

It’s arguable that SG statutes 407.313 and 458.312 allow SG’s president and campus governors (respectively) to make legislation official without the VPSA’s approval. However, no known SG official has tried this.

According to those statutes, if — after 7 academic days — the president or campus governor (respectively) does nothing with legislation that they’ve received, then that “legislation shall be considered enacted and carry the force of law.”

One could argue that the president of campus governors could just let legislation become officially binding by doing nothing, and therefore bypassing the VPSA. (For those not in the know, the regular legislative process goes: Legislative branch –> Executive branch –> VPSA)

Of course, knowing that university regulation trumps SG’s rules, it may be worth it to check out regulation 4.006 once more. According to section (4)(c) of 4.006:

All Student  Government  internal  procedures,  including  but  not  limited  to  all
constitutions, statutes and other legislative acts, are subject to the approval of the
University’s Board of Trustees prior to implementation.  … The  Senior  Vice  President  for  Student  Affairs  may  approve  all  other Student Government internal procedures on behalf of the Board of Trustees, other
than Student Government’s constitution.  Any internal procedures approved by
the  University  President  or  Senior  Vice  President  for  Student  Affairs                                                                                            shall  be consistent  with  law,  FAU  and  Florida  Board  of  Governors’  policies  and
regulations, and the best interests of the FAU student body.

Emphasis mine.

If FAU’s rules trump SG’s rules, then it seems that reading SG’s rules might not be enough to know SG’s rules.

I’ll look into this.

SG official resigned after battery charge

Posted in Uncategorized on September 20, 2011 by Chris Persaud

Former Boca House Pro-Tem David Grider (wearing red shirt) was charged with battery before leaving SG. The charge comes from an FAUPD report. This video shows the incident. The police report said Grider struck Crystal Jozwicki (wearing blue shirt), the victim. Grider said that Dean of Students Joanna Ellwood told him the word “strike,” as used in the report, does not necessarily mean “hit.” Ellwood declined to comment, stating it would violate the Family Educational Rights and Protection Act. Grider was eventually banned from the Rec Center.

CORRECTION: In order to avoid any confusion, the headline’s been changed from “SG official resigned after battery” to “SG official resigned after battery charge.” I apologize for any confusion this might have caused.

On Aug. 2, the UP reported (on page 8 ) that former Boca House Pro-Tempore David Grider resigned because of his financial internship and family, among other things.

There were rumors that he resigned due to a student conduct violation, which Grider denied.

The day before Grider left the House (July 6, according to his resignation letter), he had a meeting with Associate Dean of Students Joanna Ellwood.

The reason: to discuss Grider allegedly breaking university policy.

According to an Aug. 5 FAUPD report, Grider struck an acquaintance named Crystal Jozwicki in the Rec Center on Jun. 27. Grider told me that Ellwood told him the word “striking,” as used in the report, doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as “hitting.”

The actual policy Grider was alleged to have broken isn’t contained in the report. Furthermore, he was, and still is, banned from stepping foot inside the Rec Center. Ellwood declined to comment.

The report also says that on July 5–the day before he resigned–Grider met with Elwood, and told her he’d “go about the matter through a student government trial.” In the end, Grider said, he signed an agreement to not set foot in the Rec Center.

“In my opinion, it was all blown out of proportion,” Grider told me, “I definitely wasn’t harassing anyone.”

Here’s what the police report says:

Grider is seen walking around in the same area as Jozwicki. Jozwicki is then seen walking up to Grider and apparently talking to him. The next thing visible is Grider striking Jozwicki about the neck and throat area. Jozwicki moves her arms as to try to deflect the strike. Jozwicki then nears Grider and Grider walks around the room.

Here’s Grider’s version of events: “[Jozwicki] walked up to me and said ‘Grider, stop macking.'” Grider said he was flirting with some women at the time.

“I squeezed her cheeks. I definitely didn’t hit her, and I wasn’t violent,” Grider said. According to the police report, Jozwicki said Grider “shook her face.”

Afterward, Jozwicki became “excited,” according to the report. Grider said she yelled at him.

“At first, I thought she was kidding around.” Grider said he’d been friends with Jozwicki for the past two years. The police report says they were “casual acquaintances.”  “I thought I knew her better than that. I thought we were friends, and it wouldn’t be a big deal. Then when I realized she was actually, upset, I apologized. I realized she was mad.”

The police report mentions that Jozwicki later saw Grider in her residence hall, and was alarmed. Grider said he was there to visit a friend.

On July 5, Ellwood and Grider met to talk about the case. According to Grider, Ellwood said that if Grider agreed to stay away from the Rec Center, he wouldn’t have to go before a student conduct trial. “I didn’t want to deal with the stress of a student conduct hearing.” He said he signed that alleged agreement.

The next day, he resigned. “[The incident] had very little to do with [the resignation],” Grider said.

He also summed up his thoughts on the incident. “If I’ve learned anything from this, it’s that you have to be really careful with how well you know somebody,” and that the incident “had barely anything to do with [why I resigned].”

Jozwicki and Ellwood declined to comment.

The surveillance video of the incident is above. The police report and resignation letter are below, sans personal info (e.g., phone numbers, home addresses, etc.).

Election Board hearing recap

Posted in Uncategorized on September 19, 2011 by Chris Persaud

This post by UP reporter Dylan Bouscher.

There were no complaints, no contestations, and a “minor” violation issued at the Election Board meeting held Monday September 19. During the meeting the board certified the election results and decided what punishment would be appropriate for a candidate who turned in his campaign expense forms late.

SG Senator-elect Peter Amirato turned in his campaign expense forms late.

Essentially, the decision came down to: “Is not turning in a campaign expense form on time a major or minor violation?” Election Chair Thomas Levy’s answer: “last fall it was considered a minor violation.”

The Board unanimously voted that Amirato made a violation. That will go on his record come re-election.

The next vote was a unanimous approval to certify the election results..

Unofficial results are certified

Posted in Uncategorized on September 19, 2011 by Chris Persaud

Just a quick update courtesy of UP reporter Dylan Bouscher. The FAll ’11 unofficial results were certified by SG Elections Chair Thomas Levy. More details coming up later.

COSO’s mystery clubhouse

Posted in COSO on September 18, 2011 by Chris Persaud

This post was written by UP reporter Dylan Bouscher:

On Sept. 12, Boca’s COSO voted on which clubs would get access to the  computers and lockers of its $22,000+ clubhouse. The clubs listed below were up for approval on the Sept. 12 meeting:

Computers

Caribbean Student Association

College Republicans

M.A.P.S.

Owl Rangers

Locker Space

Alpha Psi Lambda

Catch the Fire

Caribbean Student Association

Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students

Sigma Lambda Gamma

Traditional Gaming Club @ FAU

The Gems

VOX: Voice of Planned Parenthood

When asked which clubs were granted access and why, COSO Director Ella Tepper said in an email:

“Once the minutes are approved by the COSO Executive Board they will be posted online, you will then be able to view all the information you have requested”

Other Council members said the information would only be available after COSO’s executive board approved the minutes from the last meeting.

As of this writing, that hasn’t happened, and it’s unknown which clubs COSO decided on.