This week at the Student Government Senate meeting, SG overturned a presidential budget veto, passed two bills and appointed two students to the SG Judicial Branch.
SG funds Late Night Graduate Assistant position for Programming Board
Senate President Connor Cahill introduced a third reading of the 2016-17 Activities and Services Budget to let senators vote to overturn or sustain a presidential veto that had removed money for a Late Night Graduate Assistant for Programming Board.
Student Body President Thieldens Elneus said that while he understood SG had made an educated decision to fund the PB position, he thought the position was more of a want than a need.
“Will this position be essential at the end of the day?” Elneus said. “It’s not a needed position.”
Some senators supported Elneus’ veto of funding for another paid PB position, including Sen. Bradley Berry. Berry said that because PB already has 11 paid positions, those students should be able to cover the work of the unfunded position.
“If you are getting paid for what you do, you need to step up and do the work,” Berry said.
Several senators disagreed, including SG Pro Tempore Molly O’Donnell, who works as the director of lectures for PB. O’Donnell reminded the senators that the 11 paid positions at PB belong to undergraduate students, not professionals who focus only on PB.
“I can see how you all think it’s not needed, but we do put in a lot of work,” O’Donnell said. “I do think we’re performing to the best of our ability.”
Appropriations Chair Miguel Castro said that not only does SG have more paid positions than PB, but they get paid more than PB positions.
Elneus said senators should vote based on whether the PB Graduate Assistant position was a want or a need for the club.
“Is there a want? Of course there is,” Elneus said. “Programming Board is a big deal on this campus … If this organization did not have the amount of representation that PB does on Senate, would this argument be as strong?”
Senators voted 20-7 to overturn the veto and fund the position.
Wildlife Club to bring National Geographic photographer to campus
The Wildlife Club Operational Bill passed for $1,797, which will allow the club to bring National Geographic photographer Carlton Ward, Jr. to campus and pay for his hotel stay and his commute to FGCU. Ward will speak on campus March 22, according to the bill, and his lecture will be open to all students.
Ward’s focus as a photographer is the nature of Florida. In 2010, he founded the Florida Wildlife Corridor project, the goal of which is to protect the 15.8 million acre Florida Wildlife Corridor from development.
The Wildlife Club partnered with several other clubs, including the Hiking Club and Students for Environmental Justice, to work on this bill.
Five continents, five days: International Week
International Education Week will come to FGCU March 21 to 25, thanks to a $8,067 bill that passed Tuesday night. The bill, which was introduced last week by Sen. Esteban Tavel, funds photo booths, food tastings, karaoke and more for the various international clubs that are working together to plan the week.
Tavel was asked by senators last week if SG could get its logo on the event, and he confirmed Tuesday that SG would have its brand at the event.
FGCU hosts International Week every year, and according to bill authors Sophie Halb and Patrick Poblete, it is the oldest event at FGCU.
SG fills Judicial Branch
Senators voted to appoint two new justices to the SG Judicial Branch.
Ashley Sampra is a sophomore with a major in legal studies and a minor in gender studies. She is a member of the FGCU chapter of the Phi Mu fraternity.
Elneus said she would make a good fit for the Judicial Branch because of her level-headedness.
“She’s very quiet, very laidback,” Elneus said. “That’s why I think she would be great for this position.”
Senators also approved the appointment of Jordan Cunningham, a sophomore biochemistry major and member of Alpha Chi Omega.
Cunningham said she wanted to join the Judicial Branch to broaden her horizons.
“I like to think things thoroughly,” Cunningham said. “I don’t like to make rash decisions.”
Along with the appointment of junior political science major Trace Mitchell at last week’s meeting, SG has a full judicial branch.