New Year, New FAU

Over the summer, more than just the cafeteria changed — there were also changes in Student Government. While many students were on vacation, SG officials were coping with budget issues and changes in leadership.

Here is a look at what some SG officials say happened over the summer:

SG president loses veto power on budgetThe Student Court handed down a decision that stated the budget statues were unconstitutionally vague on June 26. The petition, made by Representative Andrew Dunkiel, took away Student Body President Tony Teixeira’s veto power over the budget.

“We didn’t know what to do,” Dunkiel says, because the statutes don’t say what happens to the budget if it wasn’t approved. “It can’t go back to the campus because the campus House [of Representatives] can’t overturn a presidential veto.”

Teixeira feels this decision creates a system with “no checks and balances”; Dunkiel says Teixeira “needs to go back to his fifth grade civics class.”

“The check to the legislative branch is in the executive, and in our system that executive is the campus governor,” Dunkiel explains.

Teixeira concedes that the suggested changes in the budget were made.

Completion of the 2007-2008 A&S fee budgetThe 2007-2008 SG Activities and Service Fee budget was enacted with the approval of the Board of Trustees on June 27.

The budget is made up of the $10 per credit hour fee applied to every student’s tuition. A&S fees are used to fund clubs, host events and provide students with free stuff, such as scantrons, and services, like Night Owls.

The budget’s projected total was $7.78 million-which is allocated to university-wide accounts and divided between the seven campuses-although there have been “across the board reductions” according to Teixeira. The reductions are because of new projects like the Davie Student Union, Boca Raton Campus Recreation Center and improvements to the Jupiter campus’ Borrow.

But not everyone is satisfied with what some A&S fees are funding. Boca Governor Matt Jarrett points to the “over $90,000 going to the Student Affairs budget,” which he says is a “let down to me.”

“It’s very difficult to get used to less money,” Jarrett says. “But we can’t just give up. . . . We’ll need to be more fiscally responsible.”

University begins search for new adviser positionsThe money allocated to Student Affairs will be used to pay the new adviser positions FAU plans to hire. The new positions include director of Student Government, director of Student Government accounting and budgeting office, and director of student media board.

The search committee process involves a series of application reviews and interviews, which lead up to a few candidates being invited to on-campus interviews.

The director of SG search committee is the only one so far to present their recommendations to Student Affairs.

At the time of publication, the director of SG accounting and budget office search committee will meet on August 31 to begin reviewing applications. This will come after Associate Dean of Student Affairs Terry Mena explains “the charge,” or what the search committee will be looking for in a candidate, during the committee’s meeting.

Finding only one suitable candidate after phone interviews, the director of student media board search committee has reopened the application pool. Although this is termed a “failed search,” Mena explains that it won’t be failed if they find the best person for the job.

Controversial student leader appointed speaker of the house Chris Mack was appointed Speaker of the House on August 2. Mack has had a rocky relationship with Student Affairs, going on the record multiple times to challenge Vice President of Student Affairs Charles Brown.

With a little less than two years experience in SG, Mack is described by Teixeira as very knowledgeable in regards to the House.

“If not the most, he knows a lot more than others about how to run that place,” Teixeira says. “I just hope he keeps the best interests of the students in mind, not his own political agenda.”

According to Dunkiel, Mack has had problems getting business cards, as well as a sign for his office door, because administration feels he may not have a lot of time left in office with elections coming up in September.

Mack’s main goal as speaker will be to have the legislative statutes approved by the beginning of the second legislative session after the elections; if he doesn’t, Mack says he “will feel as if he failed.”

For more news about Student Government as well as election coverage, go to upressonline.com