SG leaders, who just last month earned the wrath
of FAU President Frank Brogan for their inability to elect a student body president, have once again been chastised by administrators- this time for breaking a state law.
Last Monday, SG’s version of the supreme court met in SG’s
Boca offices to decide the fate of its former elections supervisor. But midway through the meeting, Chief Justice Farid Hamidzadeh closed the meeting to the public.
Hamidzadeh told UP editor Jason Parsley to leave the meeting, which administrators later acknowledged is a violation of Florida’s Sunshine Law – which requires nearly all meetings of
publicly funded organizations are open to the public.
“That meeting should have been open to the public throughout
and it was a clear violation of state law,” Student Affairs Dean
Leslie Bates says. “Only meetings that deal with student records
can be closed.”
Oddly enough, SG rules contradict state law.
“According to SG statutes, I can close deliberations to the public,” Hamidzadeh explains. “As a matter of fact, this conflict was not brought to my attention by e-mail from Larry Glick, [FAU’s general counsel], until after the fact.”
Glick, one of FAU’s four attorneys, wrote Hamidzadeh that SG’s statute is “invalid on its face.”
That statute specifically allows SG’s “supreme court” to deliberate in secret. But SG’s court really isn’t one – it’s “quasi-judiciary,” which means, among other things, there’s no sworn officers of the court and no sworn testimony.
“Until the statute can be revised, SG should ignore it and
follow state law by keeping the entire meeting and deliberations open to the public,” Glick wrote.
While Hamidzadeh says he didn’t know anything about thisuntil Glick’s e-mail, Lisa Bardil, associate dean of student affairs, insists he did. She says told him and the other justices at a prior court hearing that they would not allowed to close the meeting during deliberations.
Now that Glick has officially notified them, Bates says,”There has been notification. So therefore anyone who violatesthese laws in the future will be subject to the university’s code of conduct.”
Regardless, Hamidzadeh says, “I wouldn’t do it again,” adding, “But I think that the entire [SG] constitution needs to be reviewed to make sure that we are in line with the state legislature.”