Legislative Update: July 19th, 2013

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.]

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One Response to “Legislative Update: July 19th, 2013”

  1. […] held a vote of no confidence against Berichi this year.  During the summer legislative session on July 19th, Rep. Rebecca Sosa motioned for a vote that failed by a margin of seven to […]

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