Archive for February, 2012

Legislative Update [February 24, 2012 Edition]

Posted in governor, Legislation, president, quote, Uncategorized on February 27, 2012 by dylanjbouscher

Here’s what went down at the last Boca House of Representatives meeting. This update brought to you by UP reporter Dylan Bouscher.

LEGISLATION:

Vetoed Business

BRHB-11-32: “Interfaith Programming” was amended and passed again after all mention of religion was changed to “spirituality” in the bill. Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Charles Brown vetoed the bill at first since he did not want it to have the word religion in it, according to Boca House Speaker Boris Bastidas. The bill will create a religious organization modeled after Multicultural Programming.

New Business

BRHB-12-03: “Leaving a Legacy” would allocate $44,297.44 for a new park behind the Social Science building. It was written by the SG president’s Executive Assistant Michael Brown and sponsored by House Representative Lucas Crostarosa. “Leaving a Legacy” was sent to committees after the House voted on it.

The bill says the designer of the park has already been paid $2,000. On top of that, the bill says “current members of Student Government would be leaving a lasting legacy,” if the park is built. SG President Ayden Maher, is contributing $18,000 to the park’s creation and is not seeking another term as president.

If the new park is created, the BHOR will also have a bronze plaque commemorating their work in the middle of it.

BRHB-12-04: “Florida Atlantic University 50th Anniversary Mascot Preservation,” was written by Brown and sponsored by Bastidas. This bill would have allocated $1,500 to repair four old school mascots and preserve them in glass display cases in the Boca Student Union. The bill was sent to committees and will be voted on at the next meeting.

BRHR-12-02: “Standing for Students” was written by Bastidas and Senator Jad Khazem. This resolution makes the BHOR’s opposition to any increases in A&S fees public. Since the bill passed unanimously, it will be presented to Dr. Brown, the campus governors, the SG President and Vice President, FAU’s President Mary Jane Saunders, and the Board of Trustees.

After the House passed the bill, Bastidas said, “I dare the president to veto this.”

This bill was written after a private meeting was held with certain members of SG who formed an advisory board. In the meeting, the advisory board voted to raise A&S fees up to 5%. The meeting was not made public until after it took place. Whether or not A&S fees will go up remains to be seen.

More to report on the private meeting, and who else attended. Stay tuned.

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Legislative Update [February 17, 2012 Edition]

Posted in governor, Legislation, president on February 19, 2012 by regikaza
Here’s what happened at the last Boca House of Representatives meeting. This update is brought to you by UP reporter Dylan Bouscher.

LEGISLATION:

BRHB-12-01: “Writing Center Printer” gives $2,482 towards buying a printer and card reader for the University Center for Excellence and Writing. The bill passed unanimously after it was sent to committees last week.

BRHB-12-02: “FAU Spell Out Event” a bill that transfers $4,580 from the House Contingency account to the Governor’s Project account for 1,000 t-shirts, passed unanimously. The shirts will be given away at the “Spell Out” event in which 1,000 FAU students, faculty, and staff using their bodies to spell out “FAU”. The bill was written by Executive Assistant to the Governor Jonathan Mustain and the Governor’s Chief of Staff Rebecca Capata.

OTHER NEWS:

SG President Ayden Maher told the House FAU could lose up to one third of its funding from the state. The Florida State senate approved a proposal last week that would cut $400 million from all public university budgets and $47 million from FAU.“It’s politics,” said Maher. “It’s very strange that the four schools that serve urban areas of the state, which are USF, UCF, FIU, and FAU, got hit the hardest. Whereas, the more traditional schools such as UF, and FSU got hit the least. I don’t know why, but I will say it’s politics.”

Boca Governor Ryan Ebanks updated the House on the problems with Program Board’s account. At a prior House meeting, Ebanks told the BHOR that $70,987.98 worth of transactions from Program Board’s account were unauthorized. Most of the transactions came from the account of the Program Board adviser, who was Alicia Keating at the time. Former Associate Director Davie Student Union David Bynes is the new adviser.

“A meeting was scheduled for Wednesday,” said Ebanks. “But the advisers did not attend.” He sent an email to Dean of Students, Dr. Corey King to resolve the problem and his next step is to email Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Charles Brown.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Legislative Update [February 10, 2012 Edition]

Posted in governor, Legislation, president on February 16, 2012 by regikaza

This update is brought to you by UP reporter Dylan Bouscher.

LEGISLATION:

BRHR-12-01: “Be More Open to Students” was voted on and passed unanimously. The bill recommends all Board of Trustees meetings have time set aside for public comment. The bill awaits signatures from SG President Ayden Maher, Boca campus Governor Ryan Ebanks, and Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Charles Brown.

BRHB-12-01: “Writing Center Printer” is written by House Rep. Lexi Rosario and sponsored by Representative Reginald Horace and House Speaker Boris Bastidas. The bill would have used $2,482 from the House Contingency account to buy printer and OwlCard reader for the University Center for Excellence in Writing. After Boca Treasurer Chris Naff told the House there was enough money to pay for this project, the House voted to send it to committees.

SG Senate Legislation and Updates [February 9, 2012 Edition]

Posted in appointments, Legislation, president on February 10, 2012 by dylanjbouscher

This legislative update is brought to you by UP reporter Dylan Bouscher.

LEGISLATION:

SGSSB-11-08: Written by former Sen. Michael Brown, this bill requests $20,000 for  renovations to the first floor of Boca’s Student Union. This bill was tabled indefinitely and will not be brought up again.

Boca Treasurer Chris Naff said, “Anytime the Senate is going to have a bill that deals with finances, bring it to the Accounting and Budget Office and we’ll tell you if it will work or not.”

He pointed out that just because the Senate passes a bill, doesn’t mean it gets funded. “There have been two bills passed by the Senate, and the money hasn’t been transferred because the money is not there,”  said Naff.

SGSSR-12-01: “It’s Time to Lobby” will be amended before it is brought up again for a vote. If the bill passes, it will create a new committee of students who will lobby state legislators on student interests.The bill was written by Campus Budget Committee Chair of the Jupiter House Stephen Jones, Jupiter campus Governor Alex Lange, Boca campus Governor Ryan Ebanks, Broward campus Governor Helen Pferdehirt, and Boca House Speaker Boris Bastidas.

President Ayden Maher‘s appointments to the Graduate Student Association were confirmed and approved by the Senate:

College of Education – Noemi Coltea
College of Design and Social Inquiry – Nikki Diggs
College of Engineering & Computer Science – Rosana Melendez
College of Medicine – Ramon Garcia-Areas
College of Science – LaTasha Lee
College of Nursing – Usar Suragarn

The Senate also approved Jared Hesse as Elections Commissioner for the Jupiter campus.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Boca House of Representatives Meeting Recap and Legislation [February 3, 2012 Edition]

Posted in appointments, governor, Legislation, president on February 7, 2012 by regikaza

Here’s a recap of Friday’s Boca House meeting, brought to you by UP reporter, Dylan Bouscher.

LEGISLATION:BRHR-12-01: “Be More Open to Students” was written by House Speaker, Boris Bastidas and Representative, Corey Pronman. The pair also sponsored the bill, but Bastidas encouraged the House to delay a vote and send the bill to committees. The bill would have recommended that all Board of Trustees meetings have a time for public comment if it had passed. The House voted to send the bill to committees before bringing it up again.

OTHER STUFF:

Representatives, Langston Wimberly, Elysha Savarese, Aleksandr Isidore, Tyler Dowling, Ashley Davis, and Patricio Coicou were voted and sworn in during an in-house election, for eight open seats. There are still two vacant seats in the House chambers.

Boca Governor, Ryan Ebanks updated the House on his concerns with the Program Board account. Ninety-eight transactions totaling $70,987.98 were unauthorized, according to a memo passed around by Boca Treasurer, Chris Naff. Sixty of those transactions were from Associate Director of Student Involvement and Leadership, Alicia Keating’s Purchasing Card (Pcard). Pcards are typically given to Deans, Directors, and Department Heads who can request cards for certain individuals and watch their spending.

Chief Justice, Nicholas Scalice announced the launch of the Court’s electronic records for all SG documents. The records will have information on all legislation from here on out. You can take a look at the online records here. SG President, Ayden Maher told House members that he would be meeting with FPL (Florida Power and Light Company) and the University Architect, Tom Donaudy next week to push for banners on Glades Road.

Stay tuned for more updates.

COSO Emergency Funding Meeting [February 1, 2012]

Posted in appointments, COSO on February 3, 2012 by regikaza
This update is brought to you by UP reporter, Mailyn Abreu.

Funding Approvals:
The College Democrats were given $450. They asked for $189 to replace their old banner in order to look more presentable for this election year. They also asked for $250 to make Obama campaign shirts for current and future members.

Kappa Delta Pi was given their asked amount of $500 for their academic success banquet for their members on March 16.  They estimated that 1,600 people would attend.

Tau Beta Pi was given $653 for food and collared shirts for their 30 active members and 20 officers.

The Students for Justice in Palestine got $700 to fund their upcoming event in the Traditions Plaza, in front of the bookstore. They want the money to buy real Palestine food and get more students interested in the club.

Golden Key got $390 for their three upcoming events. They asked for $750 for one of their events that involved middle and high school students. The COSO e-board informed the members that the food could not go to non-FAU students. The members said that the school was in charge of feeding their own students and that the food was for members only. This event still couldn’t be funded due to short notice.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers were given $918. They originally requested the full amount of emergency funding ($1,000) to build a $3,500 car for an upcoming national competition. They already have donations and are looking for sponsors to get the rest of the money.

Mechanisms for Biology returned this semester to get more funds to continue building box gardens that will be a part of their mobile greenhouse and their future full greenhouse here at FAU. They also requested money for more club t-shirts and a new banner. COSO informed them that they had money in their account, $922 from 2009’s budget. None of the members seemed to know about this money because the new leaders were not given a budget from previous years when they took over the club. COSO funded them the difference of what they asked for which was $54.

The Society of Automotive Engineers were allocated $1,000 to build a car for a nationwide competition in May that is estimated to be $30,000. The club already has sponsors and donations, but they are looking for more in order to fund their car.

New Club/Organization Funding:
The Jewish Association of Health and Medical Students were given $365 to fun an upcoming luncheon for 60 students and faculty.

IMAGE at CESCOM got $500 for pizza for three future events in which they will have 3 different medical speakers.

Boca House of Representatives Meeting Recap [January 27, 2012 Edition]

Posted in Constitution, elections, Facebook, governor, Legislation, president, quote on February 1, 2012 by regikaza

Here’s what happened at Friday’s BHOR meeting. This update is brought to you by UP reporter, Dylan Bouscher.

The BHOR had an in-house election for a new Speaker Pro-Tempore. The position was vacated by Kevin Varela after he resigned at the last BHOR meeting on Jan. 20, and House Representatives, Jairo Montes and Eric Lupo ran to replace him. Lupo won by a vote of 14 – 8.

SB President’s Chief of Staff, Eric Dansky gave the President’s Report since President Ayden Maher and Vice President, Robert Huffman were at Rally In Tally on Jan. 26 arguing against student fee increases and higher education reform.

During the Legislative Report, House Speaker, Boris Bastidas talked about SG’s new seal and logo. A marketing campaign has already started in the breezeway. Bastidas said, “I really want to say there’s been an issue with making things official. We were told that there would be a new seal, a new logo.”

A logo with waves on it was proposed and Maher rejected it saying “he thought it looked too academic, not cool,” said Bastidas. Maher signed the executive order for a new seal in November.

“In the executive order they stipulated that it would replace all affiliates of Student Government. That pissed off the campus governors,” said Bastidas.

Maher signed the executive order in November, and never filed it with the Court.

Bastidas supports the current logo on SG’s Facebook page, but he said the Facebook page is unofficial. There was never any legislation passed to create an SG Facebook page and he’s looking to make both the page and the logo more official.

“I hope in regards to funding you guys can find some projects. I care about this stuff, I think it reflects on us,” said Bastidas. “If we’re not holding them accountable, we need to take responsibility ourselves. I’m not rejecting the logo, or the page, it just needs to be official.”

SG Police Liaison, Charles Berichi mentioned the idea of pre-ticketing for stadium events. “There is no expiration date on OwlCards, people who aren’t students here anymore are coming to games, and we need that revenue. The stadium cost $70 million to get,” said Berichi. Police are also concerned about students showing up to games minutes before they start and creating public safety issues.

Boca Governor, Ryan Ebanks then corrected Berichi on the reason for pre-ticketing. Ebanks said that all Davie students had issues with their OwlCards at the stadium entrance.

“The system you described does not work the way you described it. If you exit the school, your OwlCard does not swipe into the stadium. The problem is that it’s not reading entire campuses,” said Ebanks. Pre-ticketing is done at most universities with a football stadium.

In his speech, Berichi talked about enforcing the ban on skateboards and bikes in the breezeway. Berichi said the House Contingency Account could be used to enforce the ban after House Representative, Wilhelm Douglas suggested it. “I’m not sure about the specifics, but it’s under serious discussion and pending approval from the Board,” said Berichi.

Bastidas brought a section of the SG Constitution to the meeting for each House member to read. The section shows it is possible to make amendments to it, without a Constitution Review Committee meeting. Certain people think Maher should not have veto power over legislation from the other campus Houses, according to Bastidas.

“If we’re not holding them accountable, then we have no purpose to wait for him to do it. We need to just do it ourselves and take responsibility for what we can do,” said Bastidas.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Ed Note: In a previous version of this post, it was incorrectly reported that a new SG logo was under consideration, and that a new Speaker Pro-Tempore would be elected. This has since been corrected.