[Legislative Update 06/14]

Here is a recap of the June 7 and June 14, 2013 Boca House of Representatives Meeting, brought to you by UP reporter Austen Erblat.

In the June 7th meeting, Junior business major Wini Camille, was elected as a  new House representative member.

Student Body President Peter Amirato was absent due to a personal matter. His Executive Assistant, Emir Caglayan, told the Boca House that Amirato wants to launch a campaign, to hear from students about having a “smoke free” campus.

Boca Governor Charles Berichi, in his report, listed his new appointments. Before approving his appointments, House Speaker Jaclyn Broudy asked Berichi to discuss what transpired in a Senate meeting that he attended the day before.

Berichi explained that graduate students who have tuition waivers for working at the university, usually covered by the Graduate College, won’t receive waivers due to budget cuts this year. Then Berichi announced funding would be requested from Student Government.

“Let’s clarify, this is not something myself or the president or any of the governors came up with,” he explained. “This is something that was proposed to us to take up the funding the graduate college had funded in empirical years.”

Berichi does not currently receive a tuition waiver, but Broudy asked Berichi numerous times if he felt entitled to one, or if he proposed new ideas that would grant him a waiver.

After Berichi denied he deserved one, Broudy read aloud an e-mail, sent from Governor Berichi to President Amirato and Broward Campus Governor, John Cordero, with the waiver percentage amendments that were discussed:

– 100% tuition waiver for Campus Governors (Broward, Boca, and Jupiter)

– 60% tuition waiver for Chief Justices

– 70% tuition waiver for Governors Administrative Cabinet

If approved, Berichi’s tuition waiver would be paid for by A&S fee money, which all students pay in their tuition to fund Student Government. Berichi defended himself, explaining that it was not his idea and that he would be open to getting the money from other places than the A&S fee.

He then informed the House that all of their input is valuable and will be implemented at the next Board of Governor’s meeting.

Next was the Governor’s Appointments. Bianca Ilardi was unanimously elected as Interfaith Programming Director, Lisandra Jimenez as Students Advocating Volunteer Involvement (SAVI) Director, Vanessa Pressoir as Associate Justice, Danielle Chinworth as Multi-Cultural Programming Director, Nick Knight as Night Owls director, and Erjeta Diamanti as COSO Director.

Chinworth, Knight, and Diamanti were not elected to their positions. They were each asked a series of questions by fellow representatives, and were voted against (Chinworth’s appointment vote was 12 no’s to 4 yes’s, Diamanti received 10 no’s to 6 yes’s and Knight received 16 no’s and 0 yes’s).

Berichi also appointed House Representative, Nadine Aly to fill a vacancy in the Boca Senate, to which she was elected, joining two other senate members for the Boca campus.

Boca campus treasurer Ricky Lejuez, in his report, shared the current account balances including the House Projects Account ($1,469.93), the House Contingency after BRHB-13-10 is final ($15,574), the Parliamentary Budget for the next fiscal year ($5,600) and the House Contingency for the next fiscal year ($65,274). Lejuez did not have the Senate contingency at the time of his report.

Student Government Adviser, Ryan Frierson, made a few announcements in his report. Student Government ordered umbrellas with the “SG” logo on them. They are currently in the process of being ordered, but details need to be worked out with vendors and logo printing. Frierson also stated that he purchased paintball guns for FAU’s Cadet Club as laid out in BRHB-13-10. Finally, he announced that LDR 2010, the leadership course that all Resident Assistants and Orientation Leaders must take will not be required for anyone in a volunteer position in Student Government, but there is still no decision on whether those in paid positions will be required to take the course.

“In either case, I would strongly encourage you to take the course.” He explained that exemptions will exists and will be examined on a case by case basis, but explained that the course is very useful and will provide a lot of information Student Government leaders need.

Broudy finished the session by stressing the importance of checks and balances between the House of Representatives and the governor, referring to their questioning of Berichi and his appointments. She explained it was not only their right to question the governor and his activity, but their job, and that it is the only way the system can function.

June 14

In the meeting, President Peter Amirato, Vice President Patrick Callahan, and Governor Charles Berichi (although the governor did come in later, after his report was called).

Chief Justice, Ryan Quinn informed the House that he is in the process of trying to get old bills archived.

Lisandra Jimenez, SAVI Director announced that there would be a Summer Splash event on Thursday June 20th through Saturday the 22nd for all incoming Freshmen to play games and meet new people. SAVI will also be hosting an event with Habitat for Humanity, Saturday, June 22nd at 12 PM. Location is TBA, but lunch and transportation will be provided.

In their chair reports, Rules and Policies Director Shareen Rosier and Ways and Means Director, Rebecca Sosa urged everyone to vote on BRHR-13-07, “Adamant Opposition to the Required LDR 2010 Course.” This resolution showed the members of the House’s strong opposition to the enactment of LDR 2010 being required for all members, and would send their concerns to the Board of trustees.

The House went on to vote unanimously (17-0) in favor of BRHR-13-07, expressing their disapproval of the administration’s intentions to require the class.

Ryan Ebanks, a previous Governor of the FAU Boca campus came to speak in open forum, expressing anger in the way the House acted in the last meeting.

“The house should not intervene,” Ebanks said, referring to Governor Berichi’s appointments and the House members questioning (and in some cases, not confirming them). “The Speaker (sic) should be held accountable.”

When questioned on his stance on the issue of graduate students in leadership positions getting tuition waivers from A&S fees, Ebanks did not give an answer in support or opposition, repeating “it depends.”

Then, Speaker Broudy announced that she will be offering a course or seminar in bill writing for anyone interested. She summed up explaining that tuition waivers had never been paid for by A&S fees in the past.

In a statement to the University Press, Broudy said “It’s ridiculous. There’s no reason governors should receive waivers, or other graduate students, there’s no reason they should get preferential treatment over undergraduate students, or vice versa.”

The University Press asked Governor Berichi for a statement three times, but was unavailable to speak with us at the time.


2 Responses to “[Legislative Update 06/14]”

  1. […] the Boca House is strongly opposed to the mandatory leadership course, LDR 2010, going so far to pass a resolution in opposition to it. Many representatives, such as Didier Ortiz, have expressed personal […]

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