The final Senate meeting of the year convened July 22 and passed a piece of legislation creating not only a new staff position but a new department, as well.
The Office of Governmental Affairs, now an official part of Student Government, is an attempt to extend UNF’s political influence. The brainchild of Student Body President Carlo Fassi, OGA is designed to “enhance representative capabilities of the duly elected,” according to Fassi’s handout on the issue.
The cost for the creation of this department is $57,500, according to the legislation.
“People are excited, they’re motivated, to get to Tallahassee and to tell legislators there what we think about our funding,” Fassi said as he addressed the Senate before the vote.
But not all members of SG felt as motivated to pass the legislation. Senator Fransua Estrada was a vocal opponent of the request.
“There is a lot of money being thrown around here and you guys say that you’ll work hard,” Estrada said, “but at the end of the day, you guys already work 40 hours a week and the legislators decide not to go with you. The legislators don’t have any obligation to agree with you.”
Despite Estrada’s input, the bill passed 13-0-2.
Along with OGA, a lobbyist position has been created and will be filled by Matt Brockelman, former SG President.
“He had experience in the Mayor’s office last year,” said Fassi in reference to Brockelman as the choice for the lobbyist position. “He knows the issues, and when speaking to a student, or speaking to someone representing students, you really need someone who’s fresh out of it.”