Archive for July, 2013

Legislative Update: July 26th, 2013

Posted in Boca House Meetings, Uncategorized on July 29, 2013 by cmwriter777

 Here’s a report of the July 26, 2013 Boca House of Representatives meeting. This report is brought to you by UP reporters Ella Levinger and Stacey Pasternak.

The second to last session on July 26, 2013–beginning one minute after scheduled time–for the Boca House of Representatives summer term, was missing five delegates, as well as the President, Vice President, and Governor.

Roughly 3 minutes into the session during open forum, Representative Didier Ortiz recalled his meeting in Tallahassee to support Dream Defenders and their “stand your ground” special session of legislature. Dream Defenders is an organization heading up protests in relation to George Zimmerman’s verdict in killing Trayvon Martin.

“We should have dialogue about what happens about the laws, regardless of whether you agree with the verdict or not,” Ortiz said.

Amanda Schumacher filled in for President Peter Amirato, discussing the Florida Student Association conference held in Jacksonville,  an organization bent on improving all the universities in Florida and how they function. Student Body President Peter Amirato, Vice President Patrick Callahan, and Boca Campus Gov. Charles Berichi were all attending. The conference focused on broken vending machines in the Breezeway and other things regarding the FSA.

The program reports began with marketing director Danielle Klaristenfeld, pushing the advertisement of FAU’s new Student Government facebook page, hoping to get 500 likes by friday August 2, 2013.

Aneal Ramkissoon began his first week as COSO director and discussed the preparation of “Get Loud” for August 25, 2013 on the housing lawn. Ramkissoon also mentioned “Club Fest” at campus recreations from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the rec-room on September 11, 2013, and the possibility of an open house on September 5, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.  “so the students could know about the resources and facilities on the second floor of the student union”.

The Committee on Committees Chair report, given by Michael Cepeda, discussed Owl Fowl, where students wear shirts from different schools in exchange for a new FAU shirt.

During the campus Action Chair report, Christopher Ferreira teamed with the marketing director on making pamphlets for the Student Government Starter Kits.

Tabled business, (BRHB-13-12, or “Duties and Powers of the Student Body President”)  “700 statute revisions” was approved by the house unanimously after a friendly amendment from Shireen Rosier for clarification about the bill and what it promises on paper. The “700 statute revisions” updated the rules of the House of Representatives.

During the special order speeches, Parliamentarian Ian Dunne apologized for his behavior at meetings throughout the summer, which he thought could’ve been offensive to the rest of his colleagues.

“I apologize for my behaviors and actions throughout the summer; I’m one of those old school representatives, I have a different mindset than everybody else,” Dunne said.

When asked about his reasoning for apologizing,  Parliamentarian Dunne said,

“My reputation is on the line. If i didn’t do this now, people are going to have less confidence in my ability to be an effective leader.”

Until August 2, stay tuned to Owl Watch.

Legislative Update: July 19th, 2013

Posted in Boca House Meetings, Uncategorized on July 26, 2013 by austenerblat

Here’s a report of the July 19, 2013 Boca House of Representatives meeting. This report is brought to you by UP reporters Ella Levinger and Stacey Pasternak.

Student Body President Peter Amirato gave his report for the following week, which included the first home game, block programming and the donation of the fountain to be in front of the student government building. However, the representatives focused primarily on meetings prior.

When the floor yielded for questions to President Amirato, Rep. Christopher Ferreira opened the floor.

“Are you aware that at the House meeting on the 5th you told us that you would not be here on the 12th,” Ferreira said, “and I asked you if you could send a designee for the House meeting on the 12th and you failed to do so?”

Dressed in a hoodie and a baseball hat, President Amirato informed Ferreira and the rest of the House representatives of the reasons why this request was not possible. The president is only required to attend meetings once a month, but he’s gone above and beyond that, so there are no laws against him missing the meeting on the 12th.

Even with the accusations, Amirato stuck to his opinions, but altogether remained neutral.

“At the end of the day, I’m the student body president of the Student Government as a whole and if anything is happening within the Student Government, it is my place to help where I see fit or to assist, to give my opinion, because I am here to lead the student government as a whole,” Amirato said.

“Granted there are duties that are separate from executive and campus base but it’s all one Student Government, one FAU and also as a Boca student. I am a Boca student and these are Boca appointments so, as a concerned Boca student, I also like to share my opinion on how things go.”

President Amirato then discussed meetings he’s had with FAU police, and allotted time for questions directed at him, but the House had none until later.

Then Boca campus Governor Charles Berichi spoke to the House about his Governor’s Administrative Cabinet appointment suggestions. The appointments were successful for new Night Owls Director Derek Smith, and new Council of Student Organizations Director Aneal Ramkisoon, both receiving a unanimous decision from the house.

But tension resurfaced between the legislative and executive branches of SG.

Erijeta Diamanti, candidate for MP director, had no prior experience with MP specifically, but did boast qualifications regarding experience in UN and fluency in four languages. Towards the end of her speech, she stated “I can’t wait to start working,” before even being approved by the House. The House responded with a unanimous no, mirroring the hiring committee, which suggests candidates for the governor to appoint. Disregarding the hiring committee’s unanimous no, Berichi decided to stand alone in his opinion on Diamanti as the ideal MP director.

Rebecca Sosa lost the election for governor to Berichi back in February. Sosa asked, “Are you aware that I know I came in second place, but compared to you, I did it with honor. I did it with dignity.”

Following on this trend, Sosa, an hour and 11 minutes into the session, called for a vote of no confidence, which states that the House representatives lack the certainty that the governor expresses best interest of the student body in his decisions. Then, following an objection by Ferreira, the vote turned into a pro-con debate, where they discussed the repercussions of the vote of no confidence, and whether or not to vote on it.

In a close 7-6 ruling, Berichi kept the House’s confidence. A vote of no confidence is usually the first step toward impeaching an executive in Student Government, such as a campus governor or student body president.

Following the ruling, tensions waned once again. After being tabled, move-in day SG starter kits, which would be administered to new students via the student government to help new students adjust this fall, (Bill BHRB-1311), was spoken about in all the committees and was approved after the price change to $2,694.88 and the 700 Statute Revisions was tabled to committees.

“I wasn’t surprised in the sense of it; seemed like it would be coming at some point,” House Speaker Jaclyn Broudy said, regarding the vote of no confidence. “I think the House is really unhappy with the governor from the way that he’s been treating the House, the way he’s been treating these situations, the appointments he’s been making. He’s going against a committee that’s here to help him.”

Boca House Parliamentarian Ian Dunne, who’s been at FAU since December 2010 and involved in SG for the past 2 ½ years, was not expecting the outcome.

“I was actually surprised, I thought we had the majority but everybody’s opinion is different so I respect the fact that everybody has their own opinion,” Dunne said. “Governor Berichi should be out of office.”

New House Rep. Matt Tuchiero, a junior history major who is also on the rules and policies committee, felt Berichi’s opponents were being too harsh.

“I honestly thought the guy was just expressing an opinion,” Tuchiero said. “What good are First Amendment rights if you’re going to vote against to shoot down everybody who expresses them? There’s a quote from Alice in Wonderland, it goes ‘if everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster.’”

[In a previous version of this story, the UP incorrectly reported the Boca campus governor almost lost his job and met with campus police. These errors have since been corrected.]

Student Senate Update: July 10th, 2013

Posted in Student Senate Meetings on July 14, 2013 by austenerblat

This Legislative report of the July 10 meeting of the FAU Student Senate is brought to you by Christopher Jorge Massana.

The FAU Student Senate met on July 10 to discuss the appointment of new elections commissioners, and hear the reports of SG elected officials. Half of the Senate’s seats were empty for this meeting, with 3 members absent and one seat vacant.

During the meeting, Student Body President Peter Amirato appointed Elections Board Chair Michael Brown to a second term in his current position. Brown, after his appointment, then presented his nominees for other Elections Board positions. Brown’s 3 commissioner nominees, Neville Forbes for Boca campus, Claudel Louis for Jupiter campus, Stevenson Pierre-Louis for Broward campus, and Brandon Brown (no relation to Elections Board Michael Brown) as elections marketing director, were all unanimously selected by the senate, by a vote of 4-0 for each nominee.

After the elections board commissioner selection, President Amirato gave his report, during which he stated his intention to create another all-night study center on campus to complement the existing Hillel Study Center. The “Cube” located in the Engineering East building, a large study area with available computers and attached study rooms, was cited as a potential location for the proposed study center.

“Right now, we’re in talks with the new engineering building to make their ‘Cube’ room not only 24 hours, but accessible to all students,” Amirato said, regarding the proposed center. “Because currently, if you’re not an engineering student, you can’t swipe into the building, and we are not okay with that, especially since state dollars go into building it… everybody should have access to study in there.”

Aside from these items, the Senate had no legislation on its agenda, and no new legislation was introduced.

Legislative Update: July 5th, 2013

Posted in Boca House Meetings, Uncategorized on July 8, 2013 by austenerblat

Here’s a report of the July 5, 2013 Boca House of Representatives meeting. this report is brought to you by UP reporter Christopher Jorge Massana.

The Boca House of Representatives met the day after Independence Day to discuss upcoming events and a resolution honoring FAU’s military veterans.

The House, with only 15 members present, after hearing the reports from program heads and the chairs of its internal committees, heard Representative Didier Ortiz introduce BRHR-13-09 “Honoring the Veterans Who Have Fought For Our Freedoms.”

“This bill, which I hope everyone will sponsor… recognizes their sacrifice,” Representative Ortiz said, “…and recommends the Campus Action Committee to consider several actions through which SG may honor our veterans.”

BRHR-13-09 was voted on by the House the same day it was introduced, and passed with a unanimous vote of 15-0.

Student Body President Peter Amirato was not present initially during the meeting and thus was unable to deliver his regular report to the House at his assigned time, though he did arrive later in the meeting (along with Vice President Patrick Callahan and Boca Campus Govrnor Charles Berichi) and delivered his report during the House’s open forum.

During his report, Amirato discussed a new plan to bring students to in-state football away games, and announced open positions on several committees that the president is tasked with filling. President Amirato also announced that he will be absent from next Friday’s House meeting, as would Gov. Berichi, as they will be attending a leadership conference in Denver.