Legislative Update [October 19, 2012 Edition]

Posted in Boca House Meetings, Uncategorized on October 24, 2012 by dylanjbouscher

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.

LEGISLATION:

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.

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Legislative Update [October 12, 2012 Edition]

Posted in Boca House Meetings, Uncategorized on October 15, 2012 by dylanjbouscher

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

After the SG fall elections Sept. 11 – 13, the Boca House of Representatives expanded to 48 members. Last Friday, Oct. 12, the House appointed new leadership and sent the bills to committee for a vote next week. SG President Robert Huffman and Boca Governor Ella Tepper discussed their upcoming projects and initiatives . And the Oath of Office, a swearing in of newly elected House members, was given to members who were not at the last meeting.

The House also elected Representative Langston Wimberly to be a new Speaker Pro-Tempore by a vote of 20-10. “I am the best candidate because I have the skills and experience necessary to complete the duties required,” said Wimberly.

Speaker’s Appointments:

– Parliamentarian: Ian Dunne

– Secretary: Ciara Clarke

– Rules and Policies Chair: Alexandra Scully

– Ways and Means Chair: Rebecca Sosa

– Campus Action Chair: Kalia Fleming

– Campus Budget Chair: Jonathan Mustain

Then Huffman updated the House about the ongoing SG website overhaul. “I feel like this is really going to help our informational side of SG to get our students more informed about the projects we’re working on,” Huffman wrote in an email. “There is no cost for this project because we are working in house with our Creative Services Dept. at FAU.”

Huffman also is teaming up with Athletics department and Mission Green club to add more recycling bins to the Rat’s Mouth, the stadium’s tailgating section, during games. “The green initiative will cost about $2,800, but Athletics is working to cut the price down with the help of our community sponsors,” Huffman wrote. “The green initiative should be on the next senate agenda.”

Other News

Tepper and Associate Dean of Students Terry Mena met with Night Owls, FAU’s escort program, to discuss concerns students have been complaining about.

“We hopefully addressed a lot of those concerns and a lot of those issues,” said Tepper. “You should look around and see Night Owls slowly, but surely improving.”

Tepper also made some appointments to the Student Union Advisory Board and Campus Recreation Advisory Board.

Governor’s Appointments:

Student Union Advisory Board
Ryan Quinn
Vanessa Torres
Kenntavious Peterkin

Campus Recreation Advisory Board
Daisy Boyd
Gabe Sheffield
Ava Kwansnieski
Evan Camejo

LEGISLATION:

BRHR- 12-01: “Cell Phone Reception” suggests making cell phone reception in IVA, HPT, GPT, and IRT stronger by installing Distributed Antenna Systems in the various residence halls on campus.

“I thought I should start writing a resolution and make our voices heard about the cell phone reception,” said Dunne.

BRHB-12-01: “Student Juried Art Exhibition” allocates $2,235 from the House Contingency account to the account for the 2012 annual Juried Student Exhibition.

“They’re asking for $2,235 for the visiting artist/juror fee, exhibition materials such as paint, hardware, vinyl lettering, and light bulbs, printing posters and documentary brochures, and for the reception,” Boca House Speaker Jaclyn Broudy wrote in an email.

The House did not vote on the bill or resolution Friday. Instead, they were both tabled to committees.  “They will be discussed in the committees before the House Meeting next Friday, the 19th, and will hopefully be voted on at that point if the House decides to,” Broudy wrote in an email.

Stay tuned to OwlWatch.

[Summer Slowdown, Summer Showdown Part 3]

Posted in Constitution, CRC, elections, photo, president with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2012 by dylanjbouscher

Chances are you’re part of the 97 percent who didn’t vote in this fall’s Student Government elections.

And even though FAU’s enrollment is up to an all-time high of 30,542, voter turnout in this year’s election dropped from last year’s 4.38 percent to 3.32 this year.

This year, the elections started at midnight, Sept. 11, and ended the same time Sept. 13. The 3.32 percent who did vote in the election went online and voted on myfau.fau.edu. Others went to one of four old-fashioned voting stations on campus, which had laptops for students to cast their ballot.

But the ballot for this year’s SG elections had more mistakes on it than usual, mistakes made by the SG leaders and administrators who managed (or mismanaged) the elections.

Mike Brown, SG’s election board chair, is annually paid $8,100 of student money — through the Activities and Services fee all FAU students pay in their tuition — to catch these mistakes, so even the 97 percent who didn’t vote are paying for his blunders.

“You come into a new position, you make these mistakes, but you don’t make them again,” Brown said. “In the spring election, I will be reviewing thoroughly.”

He was hired in July by SG President Robert Huffman, who interviewed him for the position after Brown spent two years moving up the ladder in SG. Brown started out in the Boca House of Representatives before winning a seat in the university-wide senate. Then he volunteered to be a part of former SG President Ayden Maher’s staff before Maher hired him to be his executive assistant.

“I found it to be very rewarding, it’s good management experience,” Brown said.

And in the time Brown’s been at FAU, he’s voted in seven SG elections himself. When the UP interviewed Brown and pointed out miscalculations in the official results, Brown took them back to double check.

“Let me keep this and bring this up with [Associate Dean of Students Terry Mena] and make sure these are the exact certified results,” Brown said.

But miscalculating who won more votes over other candidates is only where the errors began.

SG Assistant Director Ryan Frierson. Photo by Dylan Bouscher

When SG amended its constitution over the summer, they held meetings and voted to approve their proposed amendments, such as raising the minimum GPA requirement for SG leaders. Then the amendments were sent to Brown so the student body could vote for them in the fall elections, yet not every amendment made it on the ballot.

“There was one left off, that’s correct,” Ryan Frierson, SG’s assistant director, said. “What happened was one amendment was duplicated.”

“I didn’t see any mistakes or missed amendments,” Brown said.

Frierson created the ballot for the election, according to Brown and other leaders in SG. The amendment left off changed Article VII of the constitution, the section explaining how constitutional amendments are approved, according to Patricio Coicou.

“I inputed some of the information to the eBallot, the rest was done by [the Office of Information Technology],” Frierson said.

Meanwhile eBallot — the online voting site SG used to manage the election — crashed both days of the election.

“It happened in the morning and around the same time the next day,” Brown said.

But Frierson knew eBallot could crash before the elections started.

“The Friday before the election, eBallot stopped working,” Frierson said. “It was an internal error late on a Friday, almost 6 p.m. I came back Monday and wasn’t able to do anything.”

More than 600 organizations worldwide use eBallot, according to its website.

“eBallot is the #1 online platform to build and execute secure, high integrity votes, ballots, elections, surveys and contest voting,” the eBallot website reads.

Students weren’t able to vote during the hour eBallot was offline in a 48 hour election.

Coicou chaired the group of students amending SG’s constitution.

“I was confused by [the ballot],” Coicou said. “So if I was confused by it, imagine somebody else.”

Coicou was the first to point out the ballot didn’t include every amendment.

“When I didn’t see it on there I was very upset,” Coicou said. “I think some things could have been done better.”

After Coicou noticed the missing amendment, he tried to file a petition with the Student Court, but SG Chief Justice Nicholas Scalice rejected it for what he called a “lack of sufficient evidence.”

The lack of evidence was Coicou not having the final amendments to compare to the ballot. Later Frierson admitted to the UP, however, an amendment was missing.

Coicou also pointed out possible reasons for voter turnout being lower this year than past elections.

“This election wasn’t advertised, promoted, whatever you want to call it, as well as previous years,” Coicou said.

Other leaders in SG agree with Coicou. Boca House Speaker Jaclyn Broudy is one of them.

“I don’t want to bash anybody for not doing something,” Broudy said. “But I felt like it could have been marketed better, advertised better.”

Samuel Pluviose, a junior chemistry major, knew about the elections, but not about the candidates. “I didn’t think they did their job well this year.”

Robert Huffman, however, disagrees.

“I think [Mike Brown]’s done a good job compared to years past. It’s gotten better,” Huffman said. “I think voter turnout really depends on who’s running.”

SG Elections Board Chair Mike Brown. Photo by Dylan Bouscher.

Now Brown expects the spring elections for SG president and vice president to go better than this fall’s elections.

“In the upcoming election, we will definitely correct any mistakes we made on our part,” Brown said. “Do more to raise awareness and hopefully increase voter turnout.”

Brown said he will ask more people to review the results in the spring election than he did this fall.

“I will have [Ryan Frierson] reviewing the ballot so we know it’s correct,” Brown said.

Despite the mistakes made by Brown and Frierson, Patricio Coicou doesn’t take it personally.

“Me and Mike Brown are friends, but business is business,” Coicou said. “When it comes down to it, some of us fucked up, from administrators to the elections board chair, we’re all to blame.”

Kenson Delva contributed to the reporting of this article. This article originally ran in the Oct. 9 edition of the University Press.

Now that SG’s constitutional amendments have been voted on by the student body, the final step to making them official is having FAU’s Board of Trustees vote on them. The next Board meeting is Nov. 15.

Stay tuned to OwlWatch.

 

[Summer Slowdown, Summer Showdown Part 2]

Posted in Constitution, CRC, governor, summer 2012, Treasure Coast, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 25, 2012 by dylanjbouscher

[UPDATED, See Comments]

This legislative recap is brought to you by UP reporter Dylan Bouscher.

Old Feud, New Constitution

The Constitution Revision Commission has met three times this summer — and nothing in the constitution is revised yet.

The CRC is a group of students appointed by various leaders of Student Government. Their job is to update SG’s founding document by voting on proposed amendments.

Three members are appointed by the student body president, three are appointed by each of the campus House of Representatives, and two by the chief justice of the Student Court. These members of the CRC can vote and approve the CRC’s amendments, others can volunteer but not vote.

Yesterday’s CRC meeting was calm and quiet until one member erupted while reading his amendments.

“Why the fuck are you here? Get the fuck out,” Jonathan Mustain yelled across the room.

Ryan Ebanks, former Boca Governor

He’s a former assistant to former Boca Gov. Ryan Ebanks and was yelling at Stefon Napier, another former assistant of Ebanks.

Mustain, Ebanks and Napier were all sitting in the meeting when Mustain was in the middle of reading his amendments. Napier then motioned to table them indefinitely. This meant removing them from any consideration by the CRC.

Mustain’s amendments were 14 pages long, the same length as the SG constitution itself. Napier’s motion nearly stopped Mustain’s chance at revising the constitution in his words.

Some CRC members thought Napier’s motion was personal, none of them seconded it. The CRC took a five minute recess after the outburst.

“I think it was just a personal vendetta,” Ebanks said afterward. “If a person goes and revises the entire constitution to the point of making consistency between the constitution and statutes verbiage, I don’t think that person is being insincere.”

Napier disagreed with Ebanks about why he motioned to stop Mustain’s amendments, but didn’t propose any amendments himself.

“I felt like he was trying to be a diva. I didn’t think he was being sincere about it,” Napier said. “I didn’t speak because it was him, I have no problem with him, some of his amendments are good.”

Corey King, Dean of Students

Ryan Frierson, the assistant director for SG budget and finance, was at the CRC meeting representing Corey King, the dean of students. Frierson walked in and out of the meeting.

By the end of the meeting, there weren’t any grown ups in the room.

***

Literal Logic

Earlier this summer, Jonathan Mustain submitted a petition to the Student Court about the constitution amendment process.

Because the current constitution says the CRC can only meet once every five years, and because the CRC amendments from 2010 were never sent to the Board of Trustees for approval — even though the student body voted and approved them — the CRC is meeting again this summer. The last step in the amendment process is the BOT vote to ratify amendments approved by the CRC and student body.

And although Napier was unaware of Mustain’s amendments before the last CRC meeting, Mustain has been trying to update the constitution since April. His first amendment was written as a bill passed by the Boca House of Representatives on June 8.

This amendment would give the SG president more time to sign bills passed by campus Houses, which helps bills passed on other campuses because of the time it takes for them to reach SG President Robert Huffman’s desk.

When Mustain tried to pass his amendment through the Boca House instead of the CRC, however, administrative alarms went off.

“This student body on its own cannot change those on the constitution, and there is a process,” Terry Mena said at a Boca House meeting in May.

Mena is the associate dean of students, and was referring to the CRC. He didn’t realize there are other ways SG can amend its constitution.

If an amendment were submitted as a bill for each campus House of Representatives to pass — as Mustain’s amendment was submitted — then the CRC wouldn’t need to be called.

Any amendment made by a campus House of Representatives, however, must be passed by a majority vote from all three campus Houses (Boca, Broward and Jupiter) in two meetings each. There used to be a campus House for the university’s Treasure Coast campus, but the campus has been suspended since June.

Mustain’s bill was voted on, and passed by the Boca House, twice, then sent to the other Houses and the Student Senate for approval.

When Mena spoke against this process, however, Mustain petitioned the court to find out if he really needed the CRC for his amendments to be official.

The Student Court agreed with Mustain’s method in its decision. It also changed how amendments from the campus Houses are passed. To guide the court’s decision-making, Chief Justice Nicholas Scalice read Article VII of the constitution (which outlines the amendment process), and asked the associate justices to interpret the section.

In their final decision, the court agreed on a literal interpretation of Section C. in Article VII.

– C. Upon approval of three (3) of the Campus Houses of
Representatives, the proposed amendment shall be placed on the
agenda of the Senate at their next meeting.
– D. Upon a two-thirds (2/3) approval of the Senate, the proposed
amendment shall be placed on the ballot at the next regularly

Charles Brown, Vice President for Student Affairs

scheduled Student Body election.

So although any other bill passed by a campus House has to be signed by the respective campus governor, the court’s decision makes any amendment passed by a campus House able to skip the campus governor and go straight to the Student Senate.

Now, If Mustain’s amendments are passed by the campus Houses and Senate, then signed by the SG president and Charles Brown, the vice president of student affairs, they’ll be on the ballot this fall whether the CRC approves them or not.

And if the student body approves them in the fall election, Mustain’s amendments will go to the Board of Trustees for ratification.

“We interpret this as being a literal guide for which amendments must follow. There is no additional process needed,” Scalice said.

But the CRC has met three times now, creating the additional process Scalice and his court decided was not necessary.

***

Here are the most important amendments the CRC is considering:

– Raising the minimum GPA requirement for SG officials to 2.7
(Even though University Regulation 4.006 says FAU students only need to maintain a 2.5 GPA, and university policy trumps SG policy.)
– Removing the runoff election from SG president / vice president elections

– Eliminating the SG president’s veto power over bills passed in a campus House
– Changing the impeachment process for SG officers
– Changing minimum requirements for SG officers on other campuses

Because multiple amendments are being made by multiple members of the CRC for these issues, I’ll include the final version of the amended constitution in my next post. I’ll also provide a list of SG positions vacated and filled over the summer.

Stay tuned to OwlWatch for the third and final entry of the summer slowdown, summer showdown.

Summer Slowdown, Summer Showdown [Part 1]

Posted in Broward, Constitution, CRC, Legislation, president, Rules, summer 2012, Treasure Coast with tags , , , , , , on June 10, 2012 by dylanjbouscher

This legislative recap is brought to you by UP reporter Dylan Bouscher.

This summer FAU’s student government is breaking rules to fix rules — to a degree.

In order to change the SG constitution, a group of at least twenty people are appointed to meet and make amendments. The group is appointed by leaders in SG — anyone from student body president Robert Huffman, to any of the campus Governors, and even SG Director Heather Bishara.

That group is called the “Constitution Revision Commission,” (CRC) and it’s only supposed to meet “during January of 2010, and each fifth year thereafter,” according to the SG Constitution.

And although the CRC met in 2010 and the student body approved its amendments, they were never sent to the Board of Trustees (BOT) — FAU’s thirteen highest-ranking officials — for ratification. Changes to the constitution must be ratified by the BOT in order to become official.

Several in SG have their own suspicions as to why the Board never approved them. One of them even went on the record.

According to Boca House Speaker Boris Bastidas, the changes made during the 2010 CRC were never approved by the BOT because Charles Brown, the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs — and highest-ranking administrator in Student Government — did not agree with them.

Bastidas said Associate Dean of Students Terry Mena (Brown’s representative at Boca House meetings) had little to say about why the BOT never received the amendments:

Associate Dean of Students Terry Mena. Photo courtesy of FAU Media Relations.

“There were some disagreements about the amendments made,” he told Bastidas.

So when SG grew tired of waiting for change, they started making it on their own. Huffman went against the constitution, which only allows a CRC meeting once every five years, and called one this summer anyway.

The Boca House of Representatives, however, won’t even wait for the CRC to make amendments. In June, the House passed a bill revising statutes to make its own attendance policies stricter. Statutes are the rules that apply to the different parts and processes of SG. (See legislation below.)

One of the bill’s authors and the new House Speaker Pro Tempore, Rep. Jaclyn Broudy spoke about it at the meeting where it passed.

“A lot of this is the same people missing every time with the same excuses,” she said.

Then the House passed a bill fixing a contradiction between the constitution and the statutes this week.

One gives the governor seven days to sign a bill, and the other gives a president only five days. Since the governor must sign a bill before the president, it’s impossible for the president to sign it in time and go to Dr. Brown.

So the House passed a bill changing the constitution to give the SG President more time to sign a bill after the campus governor signs it. Simple solution, right? Wrong.

For this bill to change anything in the constitution, it has to be passed by the Jupiter and Broward House of Representatives and the University-wide Senate. Then it’ll be sent to the three campus governors, Huffman, and Dr. Brown for their signatures. Then the constitution can be amended.

By passing this bill, the Boca House is skipping the CRC process and taking another route to amend the SG constitution.

By passing these bills the Boca House is also defying administration. Mena advised the House against changing the constitution on their own in late April. He read aloud the part of the constitution with the House’s powers and limits before explaining them to the House in his own words.

“This student body on its own cannot change those on the constitution and there is a process,” Mena said, adding  “I want to make sure that you can only speak on matters that will only affect the Boca Raton student body, but I’m not saying you can’t talk about other campuses.”

Mena is wrong. Any of the campus Houses can pass bills amending the constitution. In fact the Senate as well as any FAU student can propose amendments, according to the constitution itself.

Between the CRC summoning and the Boca House bills passing lately, SG can’t update its founding document fast enough.

Legislation

BRHB-12-14: “700 House Statutes Revision” was written by Jaclyn Broudy and Boris Bastidas. It passed the House on June 1 and revised the attendance policy for House members.

BRHB-12-15: “Last Minute Spending”  was written by Boris Bastidas. It passed the House on June 1 and allocated $12,120 to pay for FAU’s banners on Glades Road, t-shirts, a table cover, and scantrons.

BRHB-12-16: “Duties and Powers of the Student Body President — Round Two” was written by Jairo Montes, Jonathan Mustain. It passed the House on June 8 and amends the SG Constitution so the President has more time to sign a bill after the governor signs it.

BRHR-12-07: “New Study Building for the Boca Campus” was written by Clairemine Cyrise. It passed the House on June 8 and suggests the Board of Trustees consider building a new study hall on the Boca campus since two FAU campuses are set to close.

Stay tuned to Owl Watch for Part 2 when the CRC meets.

Legislative Update [Boca House of Representatives May 25, 2012 Edition]

Posted in appointments, Constitution, COSO, CRC, elections, governor, president, summer 2012, Uncategorized on May 26, 2012 by dylanjbouscher

This legislative recap is brought to you by UP reporter Dylan Bouscher.

Changing of the Guard

In less than two hours the Boca House appointed and elected 14 members of Student Government today.

With House Speaker Pro Tempore Eric Lupo having graduated in the spring, the Boca House elected Rep. Jaclyn Broudy to fill the vacant position in a (7 – 4) vote against Rep. Lexi Rosario.

Shortly afterward, the House appointed Rosario to the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC). The CRC is a group of twenty people who amend SG’s main document. Three of those twenty are appointed by each of the campus Houses. Boca House Speaker Boris Bastidas also appointed Rep. Clairemine Cyrise and himself to the CRC.

Meanwhile former Boca Governor Ryan Ebanks’ unsuccessful run for SG Vice President left his position vacated. The position was filled after former COSO Director Ella Tepper ran unopposed to become Governor. As one of her first acts, Tepper appointed the following people to the Governor’s Administrative Cabinet:

Chief of Staff: Vanessa Torres
Campus Treasurer: Kyle Kenny
COSO Director: Josh Scholl
Boca Senator: Isadora Isidore

The House approved Tepper’s appointments unanimously and voted in the following representatives during an in-house election: Michael Cepeda, Noor Fawzy, Elana Kashti, Adriel Loschalc, Richard Schwartz, and Edwin Toledo.

Student Body President Robert Huffman giving his first report to the Boca House of Representatives at a weekly meeting in their chambers on May 25. Photo credit: Michelle Friswell.

The six new representatives were sworn in after new Student Body President Robert Huffman gave his first Oath of Office. As new Representatives in the Boca House, they took their first votes today on vetoed and old business.

Legislation

Vetoed Business: BRHB-12-12 “Musical Production of Sweeney Todd” was vetoed by Ebanks in one of his final acts as Boca Governor. The House overturned his veto and sent it to Huffman for enactment or veto. To find out what this bill will do if it’s enacted, click here.

Old Business: BRHB-12-13 “Duties and Powers of the Student Body President” did not pass when the House voted on it. If passed the bill amends the SG Constitution to give the President five days to sign a bill after if it passes a campus House or the university wide student Senate.

The bill has already sounded administrative alarms. Terry Mena, the Associate Dean of Students spoke to the Boca House about it at the last meeting in spring.

“I want to make sure that you can only speak on matters that will only affect the Boca Raton student body, but I’m not saying you can’t talk about the other campuses,” Mena said.

Jonathan Mustain, the former Governor’s Executive Assistant is an author of the bill.

“It’ll be back next week,” he said. “If it can.”

Stay tuned to Owl Watch and find out if the Boca House votes again on the bill to change the SG Constitution at next week’s meeting.

Legislative Update [Boca House of Representatives April 20, 2012 Edition]

Posted in Constitution, Legislation, president on April 23, 2012 by dylanjbouscher

Last Friday the Boca House agreed to fund a production of Sweeney Todd this summer. This legislative update is brought to you by UP reporter Dylan Bouscher.

LEGISLATION

BRHB-12-12: “Musical Production of ‘Sweeney Todd’” passed. The bill allocates $8,000 for the production costs, and agrees to split any profit made between the Department of Theatre and Dance, and SG. It was written by theatre student Darrick Penny and sponsored by Rep. John Maher.

The musical is expected to premiere the weekend of July 26-29 with five performances. No additional dates have been confirmed.

BRHB-12-13: “Duties and Powers of the Student Body President” was automatically tabled until the next meeting. If passed the bill will amend the SG Constitution to give the SG president five academic days to sign a bill, after he receives it.

Currently the constitution gives the president five days to sign a bill after it’s passed.

This bill was written by the Ways and Means committee chair, Jairo Montes, Parliamentarian Patricio Coicou, and the Governor’s Executive Assistant Jonathan Mustain and sponsored by Montes and Coicou.

BRHB-12-14: “Removing Multicultural Programming 2011-2012 Riders” passed. The bill removes limits on MP accounts so leftover money can be put into the Activities and Programming account. The bill was written by MP Director Marie Dumas, Kristina Fritz, Carlton O’Neal, Hakeem Haye, Dorothy Daniel, and Mark Burgarelli, and sponsored by Boca House Speaker Boris Bastidas.

Stay tuned to Owl Watch for more updates as SG spends your money.