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Breaking News: Members of AASU protest Senate's confirmation of new assistant director

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Stanford Taylor led a large group of students in chants.

“Torey must go!” he shouted,”Funded by SG, does SG rep me?”

At least 32 members of the African American Student Union (AASU) started protesting and marching at the Student Union Osprey Plaza in opposition to the Senate’s confirmation of Torey McCleskey as the new Assistant Director for AASU.

Student Body President hired McCleskey, a second semester freshman, who is white, earlier this month and was confirmed by the Senate Feb. 14. The Senate voted 19-11-0 in favor of McCleskey, despite vocal protest from members and officers of AASU.

Jessica Davis, a former director of AASU, a graduate in deaf education, said members of AASU are marching today because they believe SG chose McCleskey based on his race and not his qualifications. McCleskey is not a current member of AASU. McCleskey worked as a member of Osprey Productions as a project assistant for the Reel Big Fish concert in October 2010.

“AASU feels that a better qualified candidate was chosen and so  therefore we would like that candidate to be chosen versus the president overthrowing beyond the advisory board’s recommendation ,” Davis said.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE SENATE’S DECISION, CLICK HERE.

An advisory board voted unanimously for another candidate for the position. Student Body President Sitou Byll-Cataria decided not to go with the advisory board’s suggestion and chose McCleskey for the position.

Student Body President Sitou Byll-Cataria said that he may hold a meeting on Friday, Feb. 18 to further discuss this topic.

CLICK THE LINK HERE TO LISTEN TO PART OF THE AASU Protest Chant.

View video footage of the AASU Protest on Feb. 16 here (courtesy of Kristen Montalto):

66 Comments

66 Responses to “Breaking News: Members of AASU protest Senate's confirmation of new assistant director”

  1. Anonymous on February 16th, 2011 1:15 pm

    Why does the race of McCleskey have any relevance? If he is not qualified for the position he should not be in the office. His race should not be an issue.

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  2. Thomas on February 16th, 2011 1:30 pm

    To go against the organization’s choice for a candidate is unjust. Even if Mr. McClesky had been more qualified for the position, the decision to ignore the voice of the group was compounded by actions which left them feeling they had no voice. To publicly, unrepentantly, and egregiously disrespect and belittle a person let alone a group of people is wrong, and the response to such an act has been ferocious and unrelenting. AASU: “Keep the dream alive!!!”

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  3. Jenny on February 16th, 2011 2:13 pm

    It’s too bad that this group feels that diversity is a one way street. Imagine the outrage that would ensue if the situation were reversed and a group of white students were protesting the appointment of a black assistant director? This kind of demonstration is setting the movement for equality back several decades. From what I understand, several of these students are skipping class today for this protest. Maybe they should set their sights on what they can do to better themselves rather than trying to take somebody else out. Disgraceful.

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  4. UNF Student on February 16th, 2011 2:42 pm

    TO JENNY: If you read the corresponding news articles you would understand that AASU’s issue IS NOT race. The issue is that an unqualified person was appointed to the position. As a matter of fact, he was primarily hired because of his race because SG saw this as an opportunity to make history with a white guy in this position. AASU works with and is willing to work with people from EVERY creed, nationality, religion, etc. however, YOU MUST BE QUALIFIED!!!

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  5. Not Relevant on February 16th, 2011 3:14 pm

    The reason behind the protest for those who weren’t listening was not about RACE I REPEAT IT WAS NOT A MATTER OF RACE. whether the candidate was white, black, Asian, Hispanic or identified with multiple races it was the fact that the board had made a UNANIMOUS decision to select a particular candidate and it was overridden by the President of SG Sitou. His decision being based on the fact that McClelskey would diversify the agency allowing for a more multicultural focus and presence. If the SG decide they want a diverse agency then by all means CREATE one but to overturn a decision on the basis that “all of a sudden” on candidate who had never participated or even been a member of AASU let along show up to any events should take over that position. There are white members in AASU who choose to be a part of and participate, yet the purpose of the organization doesn’t hasn’t shouldn’t and won’t change. Personally I don’t even agree with how the article was written because stating ” a second semester freshman, who is white, …” is unnecessary and irrelevant. please educate yourselves no one is claiming diversity is a one way street nor that diversity is wrong, but to appoint someone because they serve the purpose of diversifying is not right it should be because he is passionate( and shows it), is driven, dedicated and truly the best qualifying candidate. Clearly that candidate was UNANIMOUSLY decided…at least until Sitou put his two-sense in. If all people go from the protest is black ppl protesting a white guy then clearly you didn’t stop and pay attention or maybe you just didn’t care to listen. What I saw was a display or students ( of multiple races) standing up against what we believe is an injustice. End of discussion. This is not a fight of black and white its a fight for justice in seeing and recognizing the difference between right and wrong.

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  6. Not Relevant on February 16th, 2011 3:18 pm

    The reason behind the protest for those who weren’t listening was not about RACE I REPEAT IT WAS NOT A MATTER OF RACE. whether the candidate was white, black, Asian, Hispanic or identified with multiple races it was the fact that the board had made a UNANIMOUS decision to select a particular candidate and it was overridden by the President of SG Sitou. His decision being based on the fact that McCleskey would diversify the agency allowing for a more multicultural focus and presence. If the SG decide they want a diverse agency then by all means CREATE one but to overturn a decision on the basis that “all of a sudden” on candidate who had never participated or even been a member of AASU let along show up to any events should take over that position. There are white members in AASU who choose to be a part of and participate, yet the purpose of the organization doesn’t hasn’t shouldn’t and won’t change. Personally I don’t even agree with how the article was written because stating ” a second semester freshman, who is white, …” is unnecessary and irrelevant. please educate yourselves no one is claiming diversity is a one way street nor that diversity is wrong, but to appoint someone because they serve the purpose of diversifying is not right it should be because he is passionate( and shows it), is driven, dedicated and truly the best qualifying candidate. Clearly that candidate was UNANIMOUSLY decided…at least until Sitou put his two-sense in. If all people go from the protest is black ppl protesting a white guy then clearly you didn’t stop and pay attention or maybe you just didn’t care to listen. What I saw was a display or students ( of multiple races) standing up against what we believe is an injustice. End of discussion. This is not a fight of black and white its a fight for justice in seeing and recognizing the difference between right and wrong.

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  7. Pauly D on February 16th, 2011 3:21 pm

    Torey is qualified. He is just not the qualified candidate AASU “wants”. So to say he isn’t qualified is slander. If your point the finger at Sitou, you have 4 pointing back at you. AASU is a controversial group as it is, this just adds to it. Get over yourselves. (Additionally, ditto to everything Jenny stated)

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  8. Andy R on February 16th, 2011 3:47 pm

    to ‘UNF Student’: You’re naive if you think that this boils down to anything other than race. If the 2 candidates that this came down to had both been African American, then neither choice would have resulted in protest. And I agree with Jenny that this demonstration is divisive, regardless of their intention.

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  9. Anonymous on February 16th, 2011 3:55 pm

    People should not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. – MLK said something similar in his “I have a dream” speech. I don’t think he would be impressed with the AASU’s current actions because clearly this IS a racial issue. The AASU is just trying to cover that up.

    Torey is highly qualified & his resume is fantastic. I’m sure if any single one of you went up to him and asked for his resume you could see it for yourselves & make your own call about whether he is “qualified” or not. I feel that he is 100% qualified. They need his knowledge in event planning because clearly they lack it.

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  10. UNF Student on February 16th, 2011 4:18 pm

    And “ANDY R” you’re immature for using the 5yr-old cliche “If your point the finger at Sitou, you have 4 pointing back at you,” let’s use adult lingo please. 🙂 And to be clear, QUALIFIED in this sense means he IS NOT A MEMBER OF AASU AND he HAS EVER ATTENDED AN EVENT.

    Sincerely,

    UNF’s Favorite White Girl

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  11. Andy R on February 16th, 2011 4:54 pm

    UNF Student: I didn’t say anything about pointing fingers. What are you talking about? I’m not sure how stating my opinion on the matter (one that several people seem to agree on) qualifies me as immature.

    – Andrea Reed –

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  12. UNF Student on February 16th, 2011 5:06 pm

    AASu isn’t trying to cover anything up. For anyone who took the time out to listen to what was being said today during the protest would understand that…. There is NO problem with Tory being White…. He’s not qualified POINT BLACK PERIOD. There is no way of getting around that.

    He is a second semester freshman who has never been a part of AASU! Since taking office there have been 3 events, 2 of which he missed and the other he left early from. Sitou said they wanted him because he would “Diversify” the agency. Him being in office will not make more white people attend the AASU’s events!

    People don’t come because this isn’t something that is important to them. The purpose of the African American Student Union is to spread cultural awareness about the African American community….not to diversify. The bottom line is ever since AASU came along SG has been wanted to turn it into a multi-cultural agency and then get rid of it all together!!

    If a multi-cultural agency is what you want them MAKE A NEW AGENCY… don’t get rid of the only thing we have on this campus

    And for those who didn’t know Racism isn’t deal… it’s alive, well, and apparently THRIVING!!

    I’m a black female who was refused service at a restaurant just a month ago…… you can’t TELL me racism is dead!!

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  13. UNF Student on February 16th, 2011 5:08 pm

    @Anonymous
    To say we clearly lack knowledge when planning events show that you haven’t been to ANY??

    or maybe you agree with you SG president who said in order for our events to be successful there need to be at least 10 people (5 have to be white, 3 Spanish, and 2 black) now I KNOW Quota’s are unethical!!

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  14. UNF Student on February 16th, 2011 5:10 pm

    @Jenny – Most of the students left for class and came back… and for those who did miss it, they had the approval of their professors

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  15. Anonymous on February 16th, 2011 5:15 pm

    For anyone other than Sitou to say, without a doubt, that the decision was made based on race is preposterous. Most people are looking at the situation in completely the wrong context. Although it is skeptical that a different person was chosen in lieu of the advisory board’s vote, the choice ultimately belongs to our President. If people don’t like his decision, they should take it up with the PRESIDENT instead of slandering McCleskey. AASU believes that Sitou made the decision because the intentions of SG are to “diversify” the campus and make it “multicultural”. AASU IS willing to be diverse and DOES work with many different cultures/races/ethnicities, but as proven by their mission statement, they are primarily about PROMOTING AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE. They don’t believe a white boy could properly promote African American culture simply because he is not a part of “their society”. None of the complaints should be pointed toward his race — they should be pointed toward his qualifications) — which members of AASU did a poor job of during Senate (he would not have been called in to be interviewed for the position if he wasn’t in some way qualified in the first place). Like I stated before, I do believe his appointment is skeptical — partly because of the advisory board’s decision and partly because they are unsure of McCleskey’s previous involvement in AASU (if there was any at all). In my opinion (and I do stress that this is my personal opinion), if someone is willing/wanting to volunteer his or her personal time and effort to a cause, like McCleskey is trying to do, why argue about it? Secondly, I’ve known and encountered many AASU members and a good portion of them didn’t join AASU with honorable intentions; they have a mindset similar to “Black Power”. Of course, since this has all been made a public matter, none of them would ever admit to having that mindset — they would be hypocrites if they did. Racism is a HUGE motivator for the debate on this subject and therefore the debate is pointless.

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  16. UNFAASU on February 16th, 2011 5:33 pm

    To be clear, YOUR UNF Student Body President made this issue about race. Torey is a wonderful young man and is easy to work with. Sitou’s reasoning for hiring him was because he can bring more “diversity” to the agency. Now, looking at his application, and hearing him speak at Monday’s Senate Meeting, he was the minority in his country and discriminated against because of his skin color. SO being that his background is similar to all the other African Americans, the only thing that diversifies him IS the color of his skin. It is a shame that Sitou and his “hands,” namely Giovanni would try and take something that belongs to someone else-AASU and change it into what is beneficial to them-A Multicultural agency. Since Sitou is the president, and obviously loves to throw his power around, why not create an agency of his own, where Mr. Mcleskey can be the Director-since he IS the poster for diversity? And to be insulted by the Senate President, Carlo Fassi is a disgrace! What civilized person tells an entire agency that what they are saying doesn’t matter? I cannot believe he is in a leadership position and is representing my beloved UNF with such an ignorant statement. Never in my life did I imagine that I would live to see and be apart of such injustice! And to know that the SG Advisor, and the President of the University are sitting back and letting this administration intentionally insult and wrong A & S Fee paying students speaks volumes about their true concern for the students. Who allows a president to create a racial quota for an agency? That is unlawful! Seems like the president has issues with his own race. We will not sit down and be quiet. We are a people who are tired of having to fight for everything, but if it takes fighting to get our voice heard, then fighting is what we’ll do! Unity IS our Strength.

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  17. Anonymous on February 16th, 2011 5:35 pm

    I don’t understand why Sitou & SG would go against the Advisory Board’s election and then choose someone who is not active or familiar with AASU to be a leader within AASU?

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  18. Anonymous on February 16th, 2011 5:39 pm

    @UNFAASU

    OUR UNF Student Body President, is also YOUR UNF Student Body President whether you like it or not (at the moment). That being said, you do make an excellent point in your assertion and I think people could really benefit from understanding your position.

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  19. Anonymous on February 16th, 2011 5:40 pm

    I don’t understand why Sitou & SG would go against the Advisory Board’s election and then choose someone who is not active or familiar with AASU to be a leader within AASU? I personally wouldn’t feel qualified to lead an organization I know nothing about.

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  20. Anon on February 16th, 2011 6:12 pm

    Maybe these protesting members should have a little bit more respect for authority. Byll-Cataria has always has the right to final say (this was not new information) and for the first time – EVER – went against the advisory board’s recommendation. Send these kids back to class and give them the tools that they need to graduate and be successful. When they own their own companies, they can appoint whoever they want to whatever position they want.

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  21. Ian on February 16th, 2011 6:32 pm

    How can someone who is not a currently a member of AASU (which is stated in the article) be elected the new Assistant Director for AASU? I can understand why the AASU would be upset. I’m not quite sure what the responsibilities of that position are, but how can McCleskey properly represent the views and ideas of an organization that he is not apart of?

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  22. Diversity on February 16th, 2011 6:45 pm

    ???? WHY SITOU

    I don’t understand why Sitou & SG would go against the Advisory Board’s election and then choose someone who is NOT ACTIVE or familiar with AASU

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  23. Concerned Student on February 16th, 2011 7:49 pm

    @Anon – Very smart!

    What’s AASU ever done for this campus anyways? I remember Sitou on election day, cool guy! He wouldn’t do something like this id there wasn’t a good reason. that office is all black anyways. isn’t it about cultural enrichment???

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  24. Anonymous on February 16th, 2011 7:54 pm

    this is pathetic, the decision was made, its not gonna change, get over it.

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  25. Anonymous on February 16th, 2011 8:08 pm

    I saw on the UNF site that one of the principles is ‘Fostering mutual respect’. What part of mutual respect is being fostered when you override the wishes of an organization by putting someone they don’t want as the director? It makes absolutely no sense and the decision will continue to cause a large rift in the student body.

    Also, to those who don’t think racism exists, that may be the case in your fantasy world, but I know better. What I think is worse than racism is bias. Bias allows someone who thinks they are beyond racism to take actions and have ideas that harmful, degrading and disruptive without regard to the damage that is being done.

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  26. MPCB on February 16th, 2011 8:42 pm

    The AASU never even stated any reasons why the boy was unqualified for the position. Actually the only information they provided is that the boy was white. I beleive that this will be a great experience for members of AASU to learn about diversity. A quality which the group is obviously lacking.

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  27. Viv on February 16th, 2011 9:46 pm

    to MPCB the boy you are refering to is a second semester freshman, can you exaplin to me how that makes him more qualified than the others who went through an acually process, who are actual members of AASU and one is a cabinet member because they wanted it and did not just turn in an application because his friend told him there was an opening and that he should apply.

    to jenny I protested and took my self to class and came back, like a lot of us did.

    I am not white or black but what I saw today was indifference and ignorance and ridiculousness from the student body.

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  28. Diversity on February 16th, 2011 10:35 pm

    @ Anon

    RESPECT AUTHORITY ! FYI, most of those in AASU elected Sitou into office to hear the voice of the student. Not to override their VOICE !

    “Anon said:
    Maybe these protesting members should have a little bit more respect for authority. Byll-Cataria has always has the right to final say (this was not new information) and for the first time – EVER – went against the advisory board’s recommendation. Send these kids back to class and give them the tools that they need to graduate and be successful. When they own their own companies, they can appoint whoever they want to whatever position they want.”

    [Reply]

  29. NA on February 16th, 2011 10:37 pm

    Even if Tory wasn’t a member of AASU, that doesn’t automatically make him “unqualified.” Consider other members of SG, such as the Director of Club Alliance who has turned around their agency with no prior involvement in SG. Stanford Taylor and the other members of AASU are simply looking for reason other than the fact that Tory is white to get him out. It is only a reflection of there ignorance, not the qualifications of the new AD.

    -Stanford, maybe you should find a better excuse than “NOT QUALIFIED”

    P.S. Stop making us look bad. I have never been more ashamed of my race

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  30. UNFstudent on February 16th, 2011 10:47 pm

    The only thing that SG is showing in this situation is that they do not care about the work of student body members that are actively INVOLVED in the AASU !!!!!!!!!!!!

    OVER-RIDE THAT !

    THIS IS THE (ONE OF) THE DUMBEST THINGS I HAVE SEEN ON OUR CAMPUS

    OMG !!!!!!!!!!

    SIMPLY RIDICULOUS !

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  31. UNFstudent on February 16th, 2011 11:02 pm

    There is a VERY BIG PROBLEM with culture on our campus. This issue may bring light to others on our campus !!!!!!

    >>>> Their have been recent talks of not allowing NPHC organizations do their calls on campus unless they are at a greek event !

    What a CONTINUED slap in the face to African American culture

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  32. William Cole on February 16th, 2011 11:13 pm

    The Americans with Disabilities Act was created to assure that Handicapped persons could not discriminate against others. This is what this rebellios student union is learning. They cannot discriminate against others. That is a third reich type of thing or at least a communist viewpoint. People are tired of being forced to share their cake while giving that group their own slice.

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  33. Anon on February 16th, 2011 11:36 pm

    @Diversity, you make a good point. If the AASU trusted Sitou to make the right decision and thus elected him, then maybe they should recognize that he had good reason to go against their recommendation and appoint Torey McCleskey. On the flipside, if Sitou made a poor decison, then I guess they partially have themselves to blame for electing an inept school official. Either way, by your own admission, a good portion of the blame lies on the AASU. Or are we teaching this organization that they shouldn’t have to take accountability for any of their actions or decisions?

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  34. Bad BC on February 17th, 2011 1:22 am

    Fact: Sitou had absolutely no involvement in SG prior to being elected as president and somehow he made it. Fact: He was elected as president because the students felt he was more suitable for the job even though he created a brand new party no one had ever heard of and went up against a party that had been holding the presidential seat for over ten years. Fact: The students of UNF overlooked all of his perceived “non-qualifications” because he was a stronger candidate. As far as I’m concerned, this is a non-issue. The advisory group selected someone. And like in any american like governement, the president has a veto power. The president -that was elected by the students- chose someone he felt was a bit more qualified for the job regardless of his prior involvement in AASU. And guess what…his decision was upheld by the Senate. Now, let’s understand how SG works. The only reason why Sitou had a say so in this matter is because AASU is an agency of SG. If AASU were a club it could elect anyone it wants. So AASU, why not go back to being a club again? No, you don’t want that? Why not?…Ah Money. Agencies get more money than clubs. I hate to make this about race but, AASU fools no one when they pretend it’s not about race. If it weren’t they wouldn’t have been carrying pictures of MLK while marching/rioting. FYI, MLK wasn’t about black power, he was about equality. #JUSTSAYING# …And oh, I’m black 🙂

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  35. AAAAA on February 17th, 2011 2:23 am

    Deep down…UNF is racist. #ThatIsAll

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  36. AAAAA on February 17th, 2011 2:35 am

    He is NOT & I repeat NOT even a member of the AASU organization. He only went to ONE event…at which he left early. The other candidate, on the other hand and was an ACTIVE member who attended many of their functions. The President of SG turned his back on the VERY ORGANIZATION THAT HELPED HIM GET INTO OFFICE. Or did he forget that?

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  37. UNF Osprey on February 17th, 2011 3:29 am

    The people who were protesting aren’t doing it because of the president’s actions, but simply because there is a white man (not a boy) that he chose as the Assistant Director. AASU no matter how hard you try you cant cover the fact you’re mad about this.

    Torey was chosen because his work with OP resembled not just an open mind, but also a great dedication into hard work. He helped that agency greatly in their events.

    The truth is any event that AASU hosted from the beginning of Fall 2010 to now has been nothing but HORRIBLE turn outs. I think Sitou chose Torey since his event planning experience and diversified background is a boost that AASU stronly needs. If any of you wants prove of this, just ask Joanna or even Jenny Dy the actual attendance they had from their events so far this year. If they wont answer it, then ask your president and vice president and they both can tell you most, if not all, events had poor attendance.

    So there, AASU get your fucking heads out of the gutter and have an open mind. This isnt a conspiracy or anything like that… YOU GUYS HAVE DONE A HORRIBLE JOB WITH THE AGENCY AND I HOPE SOME ONE LIKE TOREY CAN SEND IT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

    PS – Standford D. Taylor…. you are the full definition what a a person that portrays reverse discrimination and I am glad I no longer partake as an AASU member because you never made it feel comfortable whatsoever.

    Joanna… you’re just a selfish person and karma will bite you in the ass later in life.

    Jenni Dye – I am disappointed in you the most since it was joanna that framed you and got you fired and now you’re helping this horrible cause of hers….maybe you did deserve to get fired.

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  38. Alum on February 17th, 2011 7:45 am

    There are a couple huge elephants in this room that no one wants to address. 1) There are several people here who don’t want AASU to exist – they care nothing for it’s mission and don’t want to understand it. 2) Torey being white, then appointing him to a leadership position of AASU is a HUGE IRONY – make no mistake – and it is worthy of discussion. If Torey was a junior or senior, having been a member of AASU for years and having promoted AASU like it’s other leaders, AASU would have proudly recommended him and supported his appointment to lead the organization, for he would have proven himself competent. Then the irony would be something like ‘wow, here’s a white guy who actually represents AASU to the fullest, how cool is that! It IS possible!’ Instead, Torey is a freshman who knows nothing about AASU, wasn’t even a member, and has done nothing on campus to prepare him to lead the largest SG Agency at UNF. He’s not even qualified if you remove the cultural issues. So instead, the irony at present is something like ‘wow, SG leadership actually put a white guy in there who’s so woefully unprepared that it’s actually ludicrous – laughable if it wasn’t so serious.’

    AASU is NOT to blame here AT ALL. This maverick SG president & SG leadership is. The UNF student body (who is apathetic – 80% or more don’t even care to vote in SG elections) must be made aware that the SG president is abusing his power.

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  39. Thomas on February 17th, 2011 6:02 pm

    I will not ignore Mr. McClesky’s resume. Apparently he was highly involved in the REEL BIG FISH concert with OP. I wasnt there but I heard it was successful. I’m sure he’s also done other noteworthy things as people have been screaming “check out his resume”. So I will not disregard the potential leadership capabilities he may possess. That being said, does looking at his resume alone make him more qualified. I know Christa Merix personally, and I know she is just as in lnvolved on campus and in the community as Mr. McClesky if not more. Furthermore she has given YEARS to AASU. How does that not make HER the more qualified candidate?

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  40. MPCB on February 17th, 2011 8:41 pm

    I wonder if this will effect funding for AASU in the future? Probably. Get your signs ready AASU!

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  41. UNFstudent on February 17th, 2011 10:18 pm

    This is not the whole story. Its funny how the media only puts part of the story. NEWS4JAX put the whole story! The African american student union did not get upset because he is white, they protested because he was given that position based on HIS RACE, not because he is qualified. They hired him because he was white.

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  42. MPCB on February 17th, 2011 10:39 pm

    The NEWS4JAX article just gives alot of quotes from AASU. The probelm is that nobody beleives that AASU would have any problem with someone else obtaining the position if they werent white. This protest furthermore shows that this is a pure racial issue. AASU has let there true colors show.

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  43. Tyler White on February 18th, 2011 12:14 am

    Please make sure to refer to the link to the print story for more information on what occurred Monday at the Senate Meeting.

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  44. UNFstudent on February 18th, 2011 12:36 am

    @MPCB

    That “nobody” is YOU.

    I have served in Student Government and can say that these students are revolting because a better decision should have been made.

    *** which is that of the advisory council ****

    AASU is protesting against the abuse of power that the President has exhibited. Students have voiced (and will continue) … their opinion about it.

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  45. Osprey on February 18th, 2011 1:06 am

    Had to quote what someone said ! ha ha

    “hiring a white guy as a director for the African American student Union makes about as much sense as the Catholic church electing Billy Graham or the Dalai Lama as Pope!!!”

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  46. Osprey72 on February 18th, 2011 1:16 am

    The only thing “SG” was trying to do was MAKE HISTORY

    They didn’t even care to consider the impact it would have on the African American culture on campus

    “Questions will always be raised when we’re making history,” Medina said.

    Medina is only looking to further his multicultural (Sigma Lambda Beta) Fraternity’s vision on campus !!!!!!!!!!!
    He did all the talking at the SG meeting on 2/14/11. Sitou didn’t say much.

    “McCleskey’s addition to the AASU team sets an example for the rest of the students that AASU’s doors are open to all, Medina said, thus promoting cultural diversity and awareness.”

    Umm… if other ethnic groups wanted to come to AASU programming, there was nothing stopping them!

    Torey never attended any events. Second semester Freshman…

    Child please ! He was just looking for a job on campus

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  47. Pauly D on February 18th, 2011 10:16 am

    AASU- The decision was President Sitou’s. He has that authority. Wake up to yourselves.

    So are you going to revolt everytime a decision is made that you don’t think is right?? What makes you think that you have that privilege? This is entirely racially based. Maybe he did appoint Torey to bring diversity to the organization, but that wasn’t his only vision.

    And what is all this negative energy towards Carlo Fassi? AASU only wants to share a fraction of his actual speech. Attacking the white man again…

    AASU IS ACTING AS A DISGRACE TO THIS UNIVERSITY. PLEASE STOP BRINGING NEGATIVE ATTENTION HERE. YOUR EMBARRASING THE ENTIRE STUDENT BODY. YOUR “STANCE” IS REPREHENSIBLE.

    [Reply]

  48. Pauly D on February 18th, 2011 10:37 am

    “Affirmative Action” stinks when the shoe is on the other foot, doesn’t it?

    [Reply]

  49. Pauly D on February 18th, 2011 10:38 am

    “He was appointed … because of his race, not because of his qualifications,” said Greg Berry, 20, a sophomore.

    NOW you know how we feel!

    [Reply]

  50. UNF ALUM on February 18th, 2011 11:18 am

    This is taken from the 2010 – 2011 AASU Policies and Procedures of SG… Article III, Section B. (3rd paragraph) – These positions (referring to the Director & Asst. Director) are expected to be filled by any Executive Cabinet Member of the agency (AASU) who have satisfactory fulfillment of their duties with AASU in the school year served. The positions are open to all Committee Members of the agency (AASU) who have exhibited outstanding initiative, dedication, and leadership skills and fulfilled a minimum of eight (8) volunteer hours with AASU in the school year served.

    This is cut and dry… the SG PRES has overstepped his bounds… it’s best he admit his error humbly, rescind the appointment, and proceed with the AASU recommendation he previously ignored. Other steps need to be taken, but they are secondary…

    No one gets to make things up as they go in any legislative body, including the UNF SG and/or it’s PRES.

    [Reply]

  51. Sad Student on February 18th, 2011 1:32 pm

    Why don’t we just have 1 student union where everyone regardless of color can join. Or why don’t we make it a student union for all groups of minorities? Seperating the students isn’t really promoting diversity it is like segregation.

    I’m hispanic and we don’t have a Hispanic student union do we?

    [Reply]

  52. Informed Student on February 18th, 2011 1:33 pm

    It’s disappointing to see Mr. Gooden cite his past experience in SG while simultaneously failing to understand how the system works. In this video, he reads portions from AASU’s Policies and Procedures to back up his position. What he (and others) fail to mention and/or realize is that Student Government’s Constitution is the ultimate governing document surrounding UNF SG and its agencies (including, therefore, AASU). The Constitution explicitly gives Sitou the executive authority to hire a cabinet and staff of his choice. Sitou is not bound by AASU’s Policies and Procedures. Actually, it’s the complete opposite. AASU, because it is an agency of SG, are bound to Sitou.

    This situation is being blown way out of proportion. If these protesters really want to decide AASU’s leadership, AASU should be turned into a Registered Student Organization (a club), not an executive agency representing Student Government. Why don’t the protesters want this? Simple. They are currently allocated $53,000 for the year. This money comes from the students’ Activity & Service fees. If they were a club, they’d receive a base budget of $300.

    I wish more people (especially the protesters’ leadership) would get familiar with the SG governing documents/processes before taking simple situations like this and blowing them up into “Action News” stories. At this point, it seems that the protesters are becoming afraid of losing their agency. The best way to prevent this from happening is to make peace. Whether or not AASU has a white, black, green, or speckled Assistant Director, one thing remains constant: the agency is here to serve all 16,000 students, not just a group of 50 disgruntled past and current members who are trying to rule the agency by themselves.

    [Reply]

  53. Sad Student on February 18th, 2011 1:34 pm

    Also this story has gone international. Regardless if this is about race or not we look ignorant on a world stage… thought this was the land of oppurtunity

    [Reply]

  54. Koba on February 18th, 2011 7:16 pm

    Let’s see….If Sitou had hired an african american freshman for the position, would there be such a big uproar? Let’s be true to ourself and call things the way they are. This is just a case of “I do not want you to belittle me but it is okay if I belittle you”. The AASU should not even be called “African American Student Union” because it mistakenly makes african american students believe that it is “their” agency. It is and can only (legally) be the whole student body’s agency. Please act what you preach: equality.

    [Reply]

  55. Osprey72 on February 19th, 2011 5:23 am

    The way in which Sitou made his decision was not morally correct. He was very disrespectful in not identifying with the culture of the the African American student ! The students have repeatedly said they would not have minded working with Torey, however, under these circumstances that Sitou has created, it is almost impossible to trust either side in this relationship !

    FYI :::: AASU isn’t in it for the money !

    [Reply]

  56. Student on February 19th, 2011 5:45 am

    …. so

    students that serve in any “SG capacity” are only

    RANK AND FILE members….

    wow ! No point to get involved on campus. No wonder why involvement is so low.

    [Reply]

  57. UNFStudent on February 19th, 2011 5:53 am

    You got that right !

    because your a minority at this school …… you don’t really matter

    that’s what this has brought light upon

    [Reply]

  58. Mr. Goodin on February 19th, 2011 10:32 am

    You stated above that I am failing to understand how the system works. This, unfortunately, is your failure, and I invite you to study this more closely than you have.

    Here is a copy of my most recent letter to the Spinnaker. After you study the facts, I invite your response.

    Dear Spinnaker,

    As I mentioned at the Town Hall meeting on Friday, I’m submitting this to you as a UNF Alumnus, a founder & former president of the AASU, and a former three year SG senator where I served as the SG Organization & Bylaws Chairperson & SG Parliamentarian, among other SG duties.

    I was approached on Friday after the Town Hall meeting by a reporter or representative of the Spinnaker (I don’t know which – I wasn’t given a card) and asked a few questions. I answered the questions as completely as I could at the time, but I didn’t have some of the information I was referring to (namely, the SG Constitution) on hand, so I wasn’t able to be as complete in my responses as I wanted to.

    The first question I was asked was something along the lines of ‘does the SG Constitution trump the Agency Policies and Procedures?’ (not exact) Here is my clarified answer: My understanding is this: the first place anyone should refer to, concerning regulations of SG, is the the SG Constitution, of course. Regarding the SG agencies, the next place (after the SG Constitution) we should refer to is the agencies’ policies and procedures, which of course are written by senators and ratified by the senate. Chapter 101.2 of the SG States clearly state what should happen if there is ever a conflict between an agency’s policies and procedures and the SG Constitution:

    101.2 Procedural Conflicts
    The Student Government Constitution and Statues will supersede any policies and procedures set forth by any entity of Student Government (Senate, Judicial Council, standing committee.)

    A. In the event that a statute, policy, procedure, or standing rule is found different from a document that supersedes it, the superseding document shall
    be correct in the matter. In case of this event, the Senate standing committee overseeing the statute, policy, procedure, or standing rule may change the
    document being superseded to become compliant with the overseeing document without changing the intent thereof.

    B. In the event a Senate standing committee makes any statute, policy, procedure, or standing rule corrections due to overseeing documents, changes must be reported at the next Senate meeting immediately following the committee meeting in which changes were made.

    An irony here is that this entire point is not relevant to this situation – there is no conflict between the AASU Policies & Procedures and the the SG Constitution.

    Another question I was asked was something along the lines of clarifying my earlier statement at the meeting about how the SG President’s powers are limited, and that he by law can’t do what he did. At the time, I couldn’t remember exactly where the powers of the SG President are outlined in the SG Constitution, but I now have them with me as I write this letter.

    Article III, Section 4 & 5 of the SG Constitution describes the powers of the President of SG:
    Section 4: Executive Cabinet
    A. The President shall have the power to appoint all Executive Cabinet Officers with majority approval from Senate. The removal of Executive Cabinet Officers shall be
    prescribed by law.
    B. The creation, termination, and/or funding of Executive Cabinet Positions shall be prescribed by law.
    C. The Student Government President must appoint a qualified individual to the position of Student Government Treasurer within the first month of taking office.
    This position shall be a member of the Executive Cabinet and report directly to the Senate Budget and Allocations Committee. The appointment, termination, and duties of this position shall be prescribed by law.
    Section 5: Additional Duties and Powers of the President
    The President shall:
    A. Be the chief executive of Student Government.
    B. Administer and enforce all laws of Student Government.
    C. Provide for the compilation and publication of Constitutional legislation.
    D. Co-sign, along with the Student Government Business Manager, on all expenditures from the Student Government operating budget.
    E. Call and preside over executive meetings of Student Government and student assemblies when appropriate.

    Additionally, chapter 300 of the statutes portion of the SG Constitution outlines the Executive Branch, it’s composition & powers. In prudence, I think it’s a bit too long to print the entire chapter here so please refer to it from your own copy of the SG Constitution.

    Finally, chapter 1100 of the statutes outline the Executive Agencies, with chapter 1101 specifically addressing AASU, an agency of Student Government. And of course there are the AASU Policies & Procedures for 2010 – 2011. Again, these are a bit too long for this letter so please refer to your own copy.

    The point I made at the meeting is that this SG President has quite clearly moved beyond the boundaries of his powers with this appointment of the freshman to the Asst. Director position of AASU. There is no statute within the SG Constitution that states he can do this or permits this action. Further, there are very specific policies and procedures in place for selecting the position in question which he chose to ignore, stating that they were “outdated,” or along those lines. This is clearly out of order for any president of SG. What is alarming is that the SG President stated that he’s actually following the letter of the law, taking a considerable amount of time at the meeting to quote from the SG Constitution the statutes he thought supported his position. Even more alarming, the SG Organization & Bylaws Chairperson (if this position still exists – it did when I was a senator) has not stepped in to correct this president, nor any senator, nor the SG Advisor. Even at the meeting, there appeared to be no one present to challenge this president on his assumptions about the SG Constitution, from which he’s claiming to derive his powers to do what he’s doing.

    Further, there seems to be many other areas where this president is abusing his powers – a thorough investigation is clearly in order.

    From what I’ve observed, it is clearly in the best interests of the SG, the students and the administration of UNF to reign in, if not outright impeach (the SG Constitution states that what he’s done is an impeachable offense), this president.

    [Reply]

  59. student on February 19th, 2011 1:21 pm

    It aggravates me that an issue like this is even arising today. I understand being upset that someone can be hired to a position in an organization that they are not formally a part of, but in all reality, I believe people are up in arms because the kid is white. Who cares what color he is? Maybe he will do a great job, possibly even better than anyone before him. Before protesting and getting people all hot and bothered with misinformation, ignorance, and prejudice GIVE him a CHANCE rather than start out on a foot that is in the end going to trip you, which is already taking place with this NONSENSE.

    [Reply]

  60. Concerned Student on February 20th, 2011 1:31 am

    I’d appreciate everyone bringing up the erroneous argument regarding the “AASU ByLaws” to refer to the SG Constitution. Title 1, Chapter 101.1A. To the thirty AASU member’s who are pissed cause your buddy didn’t get assistant director, STOP CRYING! There’s absolutely nothing you can do.

    http://www.unf.edu/groups/sga/docs/Updated%20CONSTITUTION%20AND%20STATUTES%20Updated.pdf

    [Reply]

  61. Concerned Student on February 20th, 2011 4:13 am

    MR.GOODEN! YOU’RE RETARDED. Our constitution states “ANY A&S FEE PAYING STUDENT CAN BECOME POSITION WITHIN THE UNF SG!.” And I’m happy this is happening. Hopefully AASU gets kicked out. this is ridiculous.

    [Reply]

  62. ???? on February 22nd, 2011 2:49 pm

    I thought this place was moderated.

    [Reply]

    Ian Albahae Reply:

    There has been plenty of moderation on this article. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship, and The Spinnaker likes to keep moderation to a minimum and allow students to freely express their opinions.

    [Reply]

  63. ???? on February 22nd, 2011 3:39 pm

    Well you let one through that should never been allowed to. Glad to see it’s gone now. Keep up the good work.

    [Reply]

  64. Some guy on February 22nd, 2011 9:52 pm

    Look at the poster about KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE.

    Using Martin Luther King’s speech is not the right time and place to do so.

    In order to protest give real evidence that he isnt qualified. And I believe that there is more than just a qualification issue…. I see that there may be a issue of race. I understand that maybe to some there would be a MORAL injustice. SUCH AS: The President of the NAACP probably shouldnt be White. sometimes Claiming racism is Reverse Racism. Think about it.

    READ:

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

    I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

    I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    I have a dream today!

    [Reply]

  65. Annony-Mouse on February 24th, 2011 11:10 am

    Funny how what is perceived as a “diversity hire” can be so upsetting to the demographic that is most often the beneficiary of it. The only two things that upset me is the automatic implication that he was hired because he was “white” and the poor choice of words by student president when referring to the AASU members’ opinions. He should have addressed their concerns with more tact, although I doubt I would’ve caved to the very racially biased pressure of the AASU members on this matter.

    [Reply]

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