Archive for March, 2012

Boca House of Representatives [March 30, 2012 Edition]

Posted in governor, Legislation, president on March 30, 2012 by regikaza

Here’s a breakdown of the last Boca House of Representatives meeting. This legislative update is brought to you by UP reporter Dylan Bouscher.

LEGISLATION

Vetoed Business

BRHR-12-03: “Stand Against the Green Fee” was vetoed by Boca Governor Ryan Ebanks and overturned by the House with a vote of 28-1. The bill was written by House Speaker Pro Tempore Eric Lupo and sponsored by 17 representatives. This bill shows the House is opposed to any attempt to add a Green fee to students’ tuition and fees.

The fee is supported by Mission Green and would be used to add solar panels and lower energy costs for FAU. It would have to be approved by the Board of Trustees and Florida Board of Governors before students start paying it.

SG President Ayden Maher told the House that the Board of Trustees has no plan to add a green fee.

Since Ebanks was absent from the meeting, the Governor’s Executive Assistant Jonathan Mustain explained why Ebanks vetoed the bill. “No extensive research was done on the green fee, there was no proof of the feasibility and what the fee was actually going to do,” Mustain said.

Mustain also gave Ebanks’ suggestions to poll the student body on the fee and to talk to Student Affairs, Facilities and Physical Plant.

Now that Ebanks’ veto has been overturned, the bill will go to Maher’s desk for approval or veto. Lupo told the UP the House could overturn Maher’s veto if that is his decision.

New Business

BRHB-12-04: “A Resolution Supporting the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act” was sent to committees after the House voted on it. If passed, this resolution will show SG’s support of a bill the U.S. Congress is considering. The bill was written by Executive Vice President of the Interfraternity Council Howard Rudnick and sponsored by Boca House Speaker Boris Bastidas.

BRHR-12-05: “Preserving a Landmark” was also sent to committees when the House voted on it. If passed, the resolution will show the BHOR is opposed to the demolition of the Algonquin Residence Hall. This is part of the Master Plan for the Boca Campus, according to the resolution. The bill was written by Maher’s Executive Assistant Michael Brown and sponsored by Bastidas.

OTHER NEWS

Maher told the House the Boca Raton City Council would meet next week to vote to allow FAU banners to hang from 20 light poles on the north side of Glades Road.

Stay tuned for more info on the banners, green fee, and demolition of Algonquin.

Boca House of Representatives Legislative Update [March 23, 2012 Edition]

Posted in Broward, Constitution, COSO, governor, Legislation, president, quote, Rules, Treasure Coast on March 24, 2012 by regikaza

Here’s a breakdown of the last Boca House of Representatives meeting. This recap is brought to you by UP reporter Dylan Bouscher.

LEGISLATION

BRHB-12-04: “Florida Atlantic University 50th Anniversary Mascot Preservation” was tabled indefinitely. If passed, this bill would have given $15,000 to repair and display retro school mascots in the Student Union. It will not be brought up again.

BRHB-12-05: “Florida Caribbean Student Association Conference” did not pass after the House voted on it. The bill was written by Danielle Dingwall, Voshon Reid, and Boca Governor Ryan Ebanks. If passed, this bill would have allocated $4,550 for 90 members of FAU’s chapter to attend a convention of CSAs being hosted at FAU.

This is the first bill to fail in the BHOR this year, according to Boca House Speaker Boris Bastidas.

BRHB-12-06: “New Printer for Student Government” passed after the House voted on it. This bill allocates $14,746 for a new printer in the SG office. The bill was written and sponsored by Bastidas.

BRHB-12-07: “Don’t Stress out, Be in Zen Mode” was passed by the House and written by Ebanks, and the Boca Governor’s Chief of Staff Rebecca Capata. House Reps. John Maher, and Joe Kruempel sponsored the bill, which will transfer $9,915.02 to the Governor’s Project account to pay for yoga mats and sunglasses for Stress Week.

Yes, FAU students pay an A&S fee in their tuition for SG to spend their money on yoga mats and sunglasses.

OTHER NEWS

The Boca House passed a “vote of no confidence” against SG President Ayden Maher. They voted on this one day after the Broward House of Representatives passed a vote of no confidence, and a week after the Jupiter House passed its own vote of no confidence against the President. Maher has broken policies in the SG Constitution and Statutes by not attending Broward House meetings for the last nine months, four consecutive Boca House meetings, and one Senate meeting, according to Bastidas.

Maher showed up late to the meeting to defend himself.  “I bust my ass for this university,” Maher said after justifying every absence and all other possible violations. Once Maher and other House reps left and the House voted on all legislation on the agenda, Campus Budget Chair Jason Wu made the motion for a vote of no confidence.While this vote holds no legislative weight, it could mean Maher is on his way to being impeached. However articles of impeachment have to be drafted by a member of the campus Houses or Senate. Then the articles must pass by a ⅔ majority in all the campus Houses (Boca, Broward, Jupiter, and Treasure Coast) and the University-wide Senate.

Since the Boca House and University-wide Senate both passed bills opposing A&S fee increases, SG Director Heather Bishara told the BHOR the committee which voted to recommend an increase would meet again on March 28 from 2-3 p.m. in the Majestic Palm Room.

Bishara also announced a follow-up meeting on April 4 from 2-3 p.m. to hold another vote on an increase recommendation. These meetings will be public, and all students are welcome to make suggestions about how A&S fee money should be spent if they start paying a higher fee.

This announcement was made after administrators in Student Affairs held a meeting with SG leaders and voted to recommend an A&S fee increase without telling anyone else.

Stay tuned to OwlWatch for more on Maher’s status and the public meetings to recommend A&S fee increases.

Boca House of Representatives Legislation and Update [March 16, 2012 Edition]

Posted in appointments, Legislation, president, Rules on March 22, 2012 by regikaza

Here’s a recap of last week’s Boca House of Representatives meeting. This update is brought to you by UP reporter, Ariana Corrao.

LEGISLATION

BRHB-12-04: “Florida Atlantic University 50th Anniversary Mascot Preservation” was tabled with no objections. The bill calls would preserve and display FAU’s previous mascots in hopes of promoting school spirit, especially for potential students checking out the school. President Ayden Maher mentioned that since the House is currently waiting on the company that will contract this project, the budget for the bill is currently not available.

BRHB-12-05: “Florida Caribbean Student Association Conference” passed with a vote of 19 to 6. The bill lets 90 students attend the Florida Caribbean Student Association (FCSA) annual conference at FAU. The conference will be held from March 23-25.

BRHR-12-03: “Stand Against the Green Fee” passed with a vote of 18 to 6. The bill says the House will not approve a Green Fee to be added to student tuition for 2013.

“With the applied tuition increase, I don’t think this is the right thing to do,” said House Rep. and author of the bill Eric Lupo, about the extra fee.

Rep. Chelsea Boydman said, “While bringing down energy costs from the school is important, I don’t think that we, the students, should have to pay for it.”

OTHER NEWS

A new $50 million dorm was approved at the recent Board of Trustees meeting. Because of the proposed state budget cuts, FAU will now annually owe the city of Jupiter two million dollars for multiple buildings on the MacArthur campus which are usually paid for by the state.

Maher also mentioned that although FAU has not announced how much it will increase tuition, the state recommended an eight percent increase. This allows FAU to increase tuition another seven percent. “I assume the university is going to go after the full 15% to make up for the budget cuts,” said Maher.

Boca House Speaker Boris Bastidas told the BHOR that the Jupiter House had met earlier that day and held a vote of no confidence which if passed, could mean Maher will be impeached. The majority of the student body voted no confidence.

“I have not read any drafts on impeachment, but I hear they are being worked on,” said Bastidas. “The decision to host the upcoming voter registration event on the Boca campus has many of the other campuses feeling belittled. I think the way he does things hurts our process.”

Bastidas mentioned the vote of no confidence and whispers of impeachment will not affect Maher as much as they will, “send a pretty strong message to the incoming person that we are not gonna take this crap from you,” according to Bastidas.

Also, seven new representatives were admitted to the House:
Neil Coffman
Lucas Crostarosa
Ashley Davis
Tyler Dowtre
Daniella Fernandez
Jessica Guijorro
Edward Mahoney
Christina Thorton

Stay tuned for more updates.

Correction: BRHB-12-05: “Florida Caribbean Student Association Conference”  was not passed, but tabled to the March 23 House meeting. 

Legislative Update [Senate] [March 15, 2012 Edition]

Posted in governor, legal, Legislation, president on March 21, 2012 by regikaza

Here’s a recap of Thursday’s SG Senate meeting. This update is brought to you by UP reporter, Michael Miller.

SGSSB-12-01: “University Wide Budget 2012-13” passed by a 4-0 vote. It approved the University Budget and Appropriations Committee’s budget. The bill was written and sponsored by SG Vice President, Robert Huffman.

SGSSR-12-01 “It’s Time to Lobby” was tabled indefinitely by a vote of 4-0. The bill would have created a committee to help students lobby state legislators more effectively. Senators will draft a new version of the bill. The bill was written by Rep. Stephen Jones, Jupiter Governor Alex Lange, Boca Governor Ryan Ebanks, Broward Governor Helen Pferdehirt, and Boca House Speaker Boris Bastidas.

SGSS-12-02 “A New Seal for Student Government” passed by a vote of 4-0. The bill approved the new SG seal and was written by Bastidas, Rep. Jad Khazem, Ebanks, Pfedehirt, and Lange.

SGSS-12-03 “Standing for Students” passed by a vote of 4-0. The bill states that the Senate opposes any increases in A&S fees, before the final state budget cuts are published. They propose to create a committee which will discuss A&S fee allocation and increases. The bill was written by Bastidas and Khazem.

SGSS-12-04 “911 Safety Resolution” passed by a vote of 4-0. This bill declares the Senate’s support of a university policy granting amnesty to students who call for medical help in cases of drug or alcohol overdose on campus. Currently, FAU’s policy against drug and alcohol users keeps students from calling for help.

This bill is modeled after the Florida State Legislature’s “911 Good Samariton Act” which recently passed in the Florida House by a vote of 117-1. It grants immunity for drug users who seek medical help from drug possession. The bill was written by Sabrina Koramblyum of Students for Sustainable Drug Policy.

Legislative Update [March 2, 2012 Edition]

Posted in appointments, Legislation, Night Owls on March 5, 2012 by regikaza

Here is what happened at the last Boca House of Representatives meeting. This update is brought to you by UP reporter, Dylan Bouscher.

LEGISLATION:

BRHB-12-05: “Night Owls Golf Carts” was passed by a vote of 16 – 6. This bill allocates $13,590 for two golf carts for NightOwls.

BRHB-12-03: “Leaving a legacy”, was tabled indefinitely and won’t be talked about again. This bill would have funded the creation of a new park behind the Social Science building.BRHB-12-04: “Florida Atlantic University 50th Anniversary Mascot Preservation” has been sent back to committees. This bill asked the BHOR to allocate $1,500 for four, old school mascots to be placed on display in glass cases in the Student Union. It will be brought back to the BHOR for a vote at the next meeting.

OTHER NEWS:

House Speaker Boris Bastidas and Parliamentarian Patricio Coicou were appointed to the Campus Budget Action Committee.

Stay tuned for more updates.