Student Government holds Senate meeting and two emergency meetings

Cody Quattlebaum

Senate President Kaitlin Ramirez suggested making the full timeline 16 days to give members enough time for their tasks. Photo by Blake Middleton
Senate President Kaitlin Ramirez suggested making the full timeline 16 days to give members enough time for their tasks.
Photo by Blake Middleton

The following summary is from three separate meetings on Oct. 27. The Senate meeting was part of the regular schedule. The Government Oversight Committee and Constitution and Statutes Committee each had an emergency meeting called for Oct. 27.

Typical Business

At the Senate meeting on Oct. 27, Student Government treasurer Morgan Wolf said she saw a documentary about human sex trafficking in the United States, “Sex and Money.” It will be shown on campus on Nov. 20. She encouraged senators to go see it.

Rethreaded needs t-shirts. Victims the organization saves will use them to make scarves.

Command+N Design’s request for $4,512 to put on a showcase at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA) on Dec. 10 was passed. It was decided after some questioning that the recognition as well as the great opportunity for completely free public access to UNF student graphic design portfolios is worth the cost.

Vice President Anthony Stevens told senators the free print lab is moving to a new office with two more computers as well as an additional printer. He requested authorization for the purchase of glass doors for that new office. The cost for that is $2,244.40

Senator Michael Rotella asked if there would be any change in the current free print labs hours once it is moved.

Stevens said they are hoping to move them to better hours. However, the long process needed to achieve this means it will probably take a while, Stevens said.

Attorney General Matthew Harris gives "unsolicited advice" about revising statute 408.4. Photo by Cody Quattlebaum
Attorney General Matthew Harris gives “unsolicited advice” about revising statute 408.4.
Photo by Cody Quattlebaum

Attorney General Interpretation

Before answering a question about the differences between senate liaisons and senators in college seats, Attorney General Matthew Harris asked the Senate how many people knew what a senate liaison was. The majority of senators did not. Harris said they are titles designed for senators to represent specific colleges and be elected within senate leadership. However, since these positions were created over the summer, no one has been elected.

Harris said the Senate cannot unilaterally remove its own members. The question for interpretation came from senator Noah Gomez, who asked about the legality and existence of certain absentee policies. Harris explained that the only time a senator is removed by their peers is via impeachment with a two-thirds vote.

Order

Recently confirmed Sergeant-at-Arms Jonathan Rader exercised his duties in reminding senators at one point to “please be respectful and hold off on using [their] cellphones.” He also called order a couple times after senators began side conversations during prolonged discussion in amending a bill being passed.

Semantics

There was extensive conversation about changing the wording in section 408.4.

The two sections most debated about were, “All records must be uploaded online within 12 business days” and, “The timeline in which the legislative records process will be handled internally shall be outlined within the Senate Policies and Procedures (P&P).”

Senator Hailey Guerra said the word “internally” is redundant because the Senate P&P is internal. Senator Chase Baker wanted to remove “internally” in case any student wrote a Senate Resolution (SR) which could alter the Senate P&P, making the resulting timeline not “internal.” If a student does write an SR, they could “sway two-thirds of the Senate,” thereby passing the SR.

Sixteen Days

Senate President Kaitlin Ramirez made a motion to change the 12 business days to 16 business days. The Senate spent a great deal of time asking questions and discussing whether they approved of that or not.

Attorney General Matthew Harris said his “unsolicited legal advice” was not to change it.

Senator Blake Kennedy asked cabinet members about how much time it takes them each, throughout the process, to update records and post them online.

Guerra supported the motion. She said she requested voting records and time-sheets, and due to the university’s current records request process, it has taken her more than 16 days to receive those.

After a detailed description by each, Kennedy agreed that the additional four days were useful in order to provide a “safety net so that we are all in compliance.” Rotella also agreed with him, encouraging senators to vote yes on the motion.

Ramirez’s motion passed.

The deputy chief of staff was confirmed. Nessa Smythe, a non-traditional student who is also a veteran, was said to bring a special perspective to the executive cabinet. According to Stevens, the position is paid 25 hours.

Smythe, in being confirmed by the Associate Justice, refrained from saying “so help me God,” at the very end. According to Harris’ interpretation, that was fine.

Discussion over the timeline of statute 408.4 was long and varied. Photo by Cody Quattlebaum
Discussion over the timeline of statute 408.4 was long and varied.
Photo by Cody Quattlebaum

The Committees

Government Oversight Committee

Revisions to title 13 were approved unanimously at an emergency Government Oversight Committee (GOC) meeting on Oct. 27.

Board member Ian Harvel said the revisions require that judicial and executive appointees must go through the GOC to make sure every person that is appointed deserves to be appointed.

Harvel said the committee also reformatted everything for clarity purposes. He said it was rearranged to be more organized and clear.

He said the emergency meeting was called to get the revision in front of Senate tonight.

“Sooner the better on these type of things,” Harvel said. “We’ve had a lot of empty seats lately and a lot of positions that need to be filled, so the sooner we have the appointment process ready to go, the more soundproof it will be.”

He said there is one more revision to do with the appointment process that will be made at a later time.

Senator Lauren Kontol said the current bill can limit having a full senate. She said the current bill can result in empty seats not being filled through the semester.

Constitution and Statutes Committee

At the emergency Constitution and Statutes Committee (CS&C) meeting a final decision was made as to the numerous revisions to Chapter 408.4, as recommended by the judiciary.

These revisions included clarifying passage by senate and the difference between approval and adoption. They also added “the timeline in which the legislative records process shall be handled internally shall be outlined within the Senate Policies and Procedures.”

The Senate policies and procedures do not currently contain specific timelines for this process.

Two senators brought forth their separate timelines that would clearly set how many days each person has to pass a bill along to a counterpart within SG for proper publishing.

Senators Rader and Grantham emphasized that all records should be online within 11 business days. Rader said, “I want to make sure that the statutes are clear and easy to understand.”

Three people in SG have the authority to upload documents to the website.

Because a specific timeline had not yet been passed, the committee agreed there needs to be a Simple Resolution in the future which would outline the specific timeline for each person in the process of updating statutes online. This would be an amendment to the Policies and Procedures.

Email Cody Quattlebaum at [email protected]

Email Blake Middleton at [email protected]