SG update: No phones in senate


“Please turn off your cell phones and leave them on your desks.”

These words greeted senators at the Feb. 8 Student Government senate meeting as SG Senate President Mack Volk instructed members of the chamber to refrain from using their mobile devices during deliberations.

Volk said Florida’s Sunshine Laws — which require governmental bodies and agencies to adhere to certain standards of transparency — dictate that all forms of communication, even electronic, made during a public meeting are public record.

“We don’t assume that anyone is doing anything, but it just makes things easier if everything is done in the open,” Volk said. “It also helps ensure that everyone is focused and attentive to what’s happening on the floor and that senators know what they’re voting on.”

SG Attorney General Jonas Cummings also touched on the new cell phone prohibition. Cummings said none of the public record and public notice regulations regarding electronic transmissions, such as email or text messages, could be effectively followed without the ban.

Concerns have also been raised recently about SG officials using their offices as campaign headquarters. SG Elections Supervisor Erica Richey first broached the subject during the Jan. 25 senate meeting when she told members of SG that conducing campaign activities in their offices would not be tolerated.

After the Feb. 8 meeting, Richey discussed the matter with the Spinnaker.

“We have not found any violations for campaigning in [SG] offices,” Richey said. “We’re just setting a rule now to prevent any misconduct.”

Senate business

During the Feb. 8 senate meeting, the senate approved special travel funding requests for the following groups: the Rugby Club, the American Chemical Society, the Young Vessels of God and the Math and Stats Club.

The senate also confirmed several appointees to various SG posts, their names and positions can be found in the sidebar.

The senate will finalize this year’s budget during a set of budget hearings Friday, Feb. 12. SG needs to cut about $100,000 to $150,000 in requests in order to balance the budget, said Sen. Kyle Nelson, the senate Budget and Allocations Committee Chairman.

These hearings start around 9 a.m. and, as with all other SG senate meetings, are open to the public.

Judicial: Adam Rowley, political science junior – Associate Justice.

Legislative: Matt Brockelman, corporate finance junior – College of Business senate seat; Justin Bacenas, public health junior – a general senate seat; Mark Albright, civil engineering freshman – a general senate seat; Willie Boykin, political science junior – a general senate seat; and Corey Myers, psychology and political science sophomore – a general senate seat.