Student Government elects new officials after two weeks of delays

Voting was postponed from Oct. 7-28.

Photo courtesy of SG

Photo courtesy of SG

Nate Nkumbu, Contributing Writer

Florida Atlantic’s Student Government elected new officials to the House of Representatives on Oct. 28 after failing to have enough members present to vote for two consecutive weeks.

According to SG Statute Chapter 400, in order for SG to hold a meeting, the house needs at least 29 representatives to attend. For a speaker and representatives to be elected and other legislation to be passed, the house needs at least 33 members present.

These numbers were not met on two occasions, causing the house to end both meetings early and voting to be postponed.

Student Government has an attendance policy that representatives can only have four absences before they are kicked out of SG. Since too few members attended, four emergency meetings were held over the last two weeks to dismiss those that were not present to previous meetings.

SG Governor Hamilton Ezell said that schoolwork and classes may be keeping many of the officials out of office. He also said that some students get elected to the house and do not end up attending the meetings.

According to the governor, Student Government emailed and phoned many of the missing members.

“The delays didn’t allow us to elect a speaker of the house, a speaker pro tempore and other members of the house. It was a bit frustrating,” he said.

House statutes mandate that the house needs a two-thirds majority in order to have a meeting and a three-fourths majority to vote. On Friday, Oct. 28, instead of the required 29, only 20 members were needed to be present for the house to elect representatives.

With the elections over, getting legislation into the house is the next step. According to Mark Sanders, a SG official, the members hope to get bills voted on by their next meeting on Friday Nov. 4.

Newly elected Speaker Steven Grunberg said that because of the delays, getting legislation into the house for a vote may take longer.

“We have to get the budget sorted first and write legislation, but with the delays and little time we have, I don’t expect any vote on legislation until spring,” Grunberg said.

While attendance has been a problem according to the speaker, he said that the issue was never to the point that elections were delayed by two weeks.

“We’re just glad and relieved to get the house back in order and to get elections sorted out,” he said.

Jaxson Travis, a house representative that lost the election for speaker, said, “All of these delays are not only annoying for me but others in Student Government who want to get some work done and legislation passed.”

Nate Nkumbu is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @FoureyedNate.