Legislative Update [October 19, 2012 Edition]

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

Last Friday, Oct. 19, the House had several guests speak about crosswalk safety and the ongoing concerns with cellphone reception. Boca House Speaker Jaclyn Broudy also implemented alphabetical seating, SG President Robert Huffman discussed the new parking garage plan and Governor Ella Tepper made more appointments.

Christine Whirlow, president of the Owls Supporting Diversity club, spoke about the dangers faced by students with disabilities at the crosswalks on the Boca campus.

“I hope I can help students reach what they deserve on campus,” said Whirlow. “With braille menus and crosswalks and make it safer for everyone not just for disability students, but anybody.”

And Ann Marie Bedard, a 24-year old graduate social work student shared a personal experience. “When I cross the crosswalks the streets around here, I don’t really feel safe,” said Bedard. “Anytime I feel like we’re gonna get hit and I don’t want to depend on others.”

Then Jason Ball, Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer, also spoke to the Boca House about poor cell phone reception in the residence halls.

“FAU cannot spend money to make the carriers join. They own the frequency, its licensed frequency. They have to decide if they will participate.” According to Ball FAU has know about this problem for 2 years.

Ball mentioned that FAU is the second school in Florida to act on the problems in the residence halls behind UF and the first university to have a solution to fix it. Ball said about UF: “[the] University of Florida landed the first contract with AT&T since the President of AT&T Florida sits on the Board of Trustees of University of Florida.”

Afterward Huffman updated the House on the last Board of Trustees meeting. The SG President is a member of the university’s BOT — FAU’s 13 highest ranking officials, which approved plans for a new parking garage at their last meeting.

“This is really important for us as one of the biggest problems that I hear and that I’m sure that a lot of you guys hear as well,” said Huffman. “Parking is not easiest for our students. This parking garage will allow more parking spots on our campus.”

Huffman also appointed Elizabeth Shultz to be SG’s marketing director.

Tepper appointed Anthony Santos to be the Director of the new Interfaith Programming. “This person is really laying the foundation for this program. In helping to build it up to hopefully what will become the top leading programming,” said Tepper.

Interfaith Programming (IP) will be responsible for “creating and enriching spiritual unity … and presenting and emphasize spiritual achievements on the Boca Raton Campus,” according to the Boca Executive programs page on SG’s website.

“I feel like I would be the best person for this position [because] one thing about me is that I know how to be a pioneer since I come from a small high school and I know what is to start up programs,” said Anthony Santos.

Santos was asked by Representative Chad Coarsey on how he will work with other religions. “Although I may not follow other beliefs, I have to be tolerant of them and I have to work together with them,” said Santos.

Governor’s Appointments:

Student Union Advisory Board
Rosham Rashtchy
Shirrana Rosier

Campus Recreation Advisory Board
Shareen Rosier

Before the House discussed its bills on cell phone reception and crosswalks, however, Broudy implemented alphabetical seating arrangements. The Speaker made her decision on the basis that the U.S. Congress and the Florida State house sit alphabetically.

“We are here to advocate for students to go over our agenda. There is a lot of conversation that’s not about that and it’s distracting to other members of the House,” said Broudy. “Its rude for people that come to sit here and have to listen to other people talking about things that aren’t business. I really have a zero tolerance policy for that.”

Boca House Secretary Ciara Clarke couldn’t be more pleased with the Speaker’s decision.

“I love it, I’m the secretary it’s much easier for me,” said Clarke.

Clarke’s job in the Boca House is to take attendance of all members and record how members vote on bills.

Representative Jonathan Mustain, however, had a different view new seating arrangement.

“I don’t agree with the Speaker’s decision to make us sit alphabetical order, nor does she have the authority to make us sit alphabetical order. It is up to the House to make that decision.”

The Speaker of the House does have that authority though under Statute 475.100.l which read as follows:

[The Speaker of the House] may have additional duties and powers as delineated in the individual Chapter of the Student Government Statutes of his/her campus as long as
they are not contradictory to this chapter.


BRHR-12-01: “Cell Phone Reception” was sent to committee for the second week in a row. See last week’s post for more information about this resolution and its author, Parliamentarian Ian Dunne.

BRHB-12-01: “Student Juried Art Exhibition” was sent to committee for the second week in a row. This bill was written by Jeanie Giebel, and allocates $2,235 from the House contingency account for the annual 2012 Juried Student Exhibition.

BRHR-12-02: “Walk With Ease”, a resolution suggesting the university commit bi-monthly inspections of all pedestrians crosswalks in order to assure proper mechanical functionality. Representative Chad Coarsey authored this resolution.

If passed the resolution will be sent to FAU’s Board of Trustees, President Mary Jane Saunders, the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the Florida state university system, and Governor Rick Scott.

“We can get everyone on the same page and make sure all these crosswalks are maintained,” said Coarsey. “Someone will be held accountable.”

BRHB- 12-02 “Extended Exam Week Library Hours”: That the Boca House of Representatives transfers $2,521 to the S.E. Wimberly Library, so that they can have extended hours during exam week. Boca House Speaker Broudy authored this bill

“This extends library hours during exam week. I’m sure that it effects every single person in this room and I know it effects the entire student body to have extra hours open on exam night,” said Broudy.

These bills were sent to committee for a vote next week.

Stay tuned to OwlWatch.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: