Meet your new SG President

Kelly Tyko

For about two weeks, it was a routine. Everyday from around 8 a.m. till after 11 p.m., whenever he wasn’t in classes or working his job, Pablo E. Paez was shaking hands, passing out flyers, and telling students what he planned to do.

Paez, the current governor of the Boca Raton campus, was running unopposed for the student body presidency, and since he was the only candidate he won the election before it even started.

Yet he campaigned.

“Competition is not the reasons why I do the things I do. I campaign because I care,” says President-elect Paez. “I campaign because I’m not only campaigning for myself but for my ideals. I campaigned for the issues I know are of concern to students.”

To find out these concerns, Paez says students need to see Student Government’s presence.

“The more people you get your message across to, the more people you know are on the same page, the more people that are going to back you up throughout the year.

“The election is not the end but the beginning of a long year of hard work. The more people you can get your message, the more successful you can be.”

And Paez is looking forward to a very successful year. One goal is “helping to make FAU an elite and leading University in the state and in the country by accommodating the needs of both our traditional and non-traditional students.”

It’s really all about students in the first place, Paez says.

“First and foremost our concern is the students. That’s why we’re here.”

The junior isn’t a newcomer to working for the students. He’s been involved with SG for the last three years on the Boca campus, starting as a senator and moving up to become senate speaker pro-tempore, then senate speaker, and lastly the governor of the Boca campus.

Now as President-elect, he promises to do the best job because trying to make a difference is of extreme importance to him.

Except he’s not just going to try to make a difference – he and his SG coworkers will succeed, he says.

“We’re going to make a difference. There really is no limit to what we can do.”

Here are some of Paez and his administration’s goals:

Academics

Student Government is trying to break the wall of separation between students and the academic sector of the university.

“We’re going to work strongly on academics,” Paez says, noting there are many issues involved with this.

With academics, Paez means, SG will lobby administration for an enhanced academic policy. One issue involved is FAU‘s forgiveness policy (retaking a class and overriding the bad grade).

“We need to increase FAU‘s forgiveness policy. We feel that two courses is just not enough,” Paez says, adding that most state universities allow four classes to be retaken.

Another issue involved with academics is SG‘s push to extend reading day to a dead week. Paez says, “We feel as though that last week before finals, there shouldn’t be papers due or exams.”

Also tied to academics is the issue of the library hours, Paez says. “We will continue to lobby to extend the hours and not just on Boca but on all the campuses.”

On these issues, Paez is optimistic: “These are things we will do. We will positively affect students’ academic policies here at FAU.

“We are at the point where are proposals are being considered. We’re going to make that final step this year.”

Parking

New students come to FAU don’t know the parking rules and sometimes end up getting two or three tickets in the semester’s beginning, Paez says. Because of this Paez and company are proposing a parking grace period.

“Give students a chance to adapt,” Paez says is the reasoning. “Let them find out where their classes are and where the lots are.”

And because of all the events on the Boca Raton campus, Paez is proposing to give parking grace periods during auditorium performances, baseball games, and other events.

While Paez is confident that things will get better once the parking garage opens, SG still plans on working on other parking concerns.

Book vouchers program

In years past, Student Government provided about $5,000 for a book loan program managed by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. The office bought books with the money and students checked them out.

Inevitable problems happened with this system.

“The problem that we come across is every other semester is that there’s a new edition of the book. We buy all these books every semester and after 2 or 3 semesters they’re outdated and we’re stuck with books,” Paez says.

This coming year they’ll be a different system. Working again with Multicultural Affairs, SG will establish a Book Vouchers Program. With this program, students will be able to redeem books from the bookstore with the vouchers.

Paez says the system will work as it had before in that students will come to on a first-come, first-serve basis based on financial need first.

“We’re going to be saving money and we’re not going to be stuck with books.

And some other things …

Graduate students: “The concerns of the grad students need to be addressed. We will support increased funding for graduate grants,” Paez says.

Lobbying: “We need to lobby strongly for issues of concern to students on all levels,” says Paez. “We will also lobby at the state level. We will rejoin FSA (Florida Student Association) … Most of our concerns are the same concerns and we need to lobby together.”

Childcare: “We will provide continued support for the Karen Slattery Center. This is an issue of extreme importance for students who have children.”

Increasing diversity: Paez has many plans regarding increasing the university’s diversity. He vows to make SG’s Religious Diversity Festival a tradition at FAU, to provide support and services for International Students. He also says that SG will continue to celebrate Black History Month and the establishment of a new tradition by celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

School spirit: The prOWLers, the new student spirit organization, will continue to prosper and grow, Paez says. Organizing more tailgate parties and pep rallies is part of this. Another way to increase school spirit is by “increased interaction between SG and Greek Organization.”