High-ranking Student Government member chooses bar over important meeting

One committee member was MIA, until they found he took to the Irishmen instead of attending a meeting to approve an $8.6 million budget.


char Pratt

Felix Hartmann (right) took to the bar instead of attending a meeting to allocate an $8.6 million budget. Casey Martin (left) chairs that meeting. Photo of Casey Martin by Max Jackson, Staff Photographer. Photo of Felix Hartmann from his LinkedIn page.

Gregory Cox, Managing Editor

The University Budget and Appropriations Committee was supposed to meet on Jan. 11 to approve an $8.6 million budget for next year — but that wasn’t able to happen since the group’s chief financial officer was too busy signing off on bar tabs down the street.

Five students and two advisors waited for the meeting to start, only to find out via Facebook that Felix Hartmann was at the Irishmen for his birthday. The meeting needed four of its seven voting members present to start, but it never got past three.

Screenshot of Felix Hartmann's Facebook page taken on Tuesday Jan. 12
Screenshot of Felix Hartmann’s Facebook page taken on Tuesday Jan. 12.
Screenshot of Felix Hartmann's timeline taken on Jan. 12.
Screenshot of Felix Hartmann’s timeline taken on Jan. 12.

The committee’s job is to distribute the money collected from the Activity and Service Fee that all students pay as part of their tuition. The $12.32 charge per credit hour is used to directly benefit students through programs and events.

Casey Martin, student body vice president and chair of the UBAC, was not too pleased about Hartmann’s vacant seat.

“I’ve worked on my birthday. Hell, I’ve been deployed on my birthday,” Martin said upon finding out about Hartmann’s absence.

The UP reached out to Hartmann, but he did not respond as of publication time.

All public meetings — like this one — must have at least 24 hour notice, giving anyone expected or wishing to attend enough notice. This made Chris Ferreira — the Boca Raton campus governor — question the dedication of Hartmann.

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Hartmann earns $10,000 a year for his position as chief financial officer which, by the way, is $1,000 more than what the mayor of Boca Raton is currently making.

Five members of the committee — including Hartmann — showed up to the second run at hosting the meeting on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

This year’s challenge is to find places to cut the budgets of student-run organizations. They collectively requested $9.01 million to operate next fiscal year, which is around $400,000 over the expected budget.

The same situation arose last year: the UBAC asked student organizations to cut their budgets by about 15 percent since the proposed needs exceeded the expected budget.  

During the Jan. 12 meeting, 3.5 percent of the $8.6 million budget went into the UBAC’s reserve account used for long term projects such as renovating the campus recreation center and student union.

Hartmann pitched — and almost succeeded — at putting away 5 percent of the budget into reserves. Placing 3.5 percent in the reserves comes to about $301,000, while 5 percent would have equaled $430,000, meaning student organizations would have had to cut even more out of their budgets.

The decision of 5 percent almost went through until Jupiter campus Treasurer Dominique Davis opposed Hartmann’s proposal. She explained that the Jupiter campus is already feeling the pinch from previous budget cuts.

The next UBAC meeting is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m., where the committee will discuss which accounts should be trimmed down.

Is your student organization feeling the pinch of recurrent budget cuts? Drop us a line at [email protected] or at [email protected].

Gregory Cox is the managing editor of the University Press. If you would like to contact him regarding this or other articles, email him at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter.