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UNF Spinnaker

Another day at the office as SG Committees meet

Chairman Gustavo Ascanio calls the Government Oversight Committee meeting to order.Photo by Kalee Ball
Chairman Gustavo Ascanio calls the Government Oversight Committee meeting to order.
Photo by Kalee Ball

The medley of opinions in Student Governments’ conference room and the Senate Chambers were loud and proud in the committee meetings held on June 15.

Four members of Student Government (SG) contended for open positions in the Executive Cabinet. Before the senate can vote on filling positions, the Government Oversight committee (GOC) had to interview and approve each candidate. All were approved unanimously.

Matthew Harris was up for appointment as project manager. This job would require him to manage President Shomari Gloster’s executive projects. This includes renovations and dining enhancements, according to the job description attached to the night’s agenda.

Previously, Harris worked for SG as associate justice, attorney general and Club Alliance director. “As part of the Executive Cabinet, I think one of our goals as a branch is going to be to improve communication,” Harris said.

Jordan Wilson expressed interest in the chief of staff position. Wilson previously served as Club Alliance communications coordinator and President Gloster’s campaign manager. He is currently the director of governmental affairs and will continue to hold the office if approved.

SG’s chief of staff oversees external governmental relations, including acting as a liaison to university offices at the discretion of President Gloster. The chief of staff supports university entities such as Lend-A-Wing and Osprey Productions.

Senior Connor Klein sought the student advocate position. Klein has been involved in Senate and the University and Student Affairs Committee (USAC) for three years.

Student advocates serve as the university’s student ombudsman, the Academic Affairs liaison and a branch liaison to organizations such as fraternity and sorority life, the LGBTQ office, Spinnaker Media, and the Women’s Center.

Walter Pillows looked to become SG’s director of communications and public relations. Pillows previously worked as communication coordinator for Osprey Productions.

If Pillows is appointed as director of communications and public relations, he will manage SG’s media relations, the Executive Branch website and all of SG’s social media.

The GOC also discussed President Gloster’s recent veto of Title XIII Revisions, SB-15SA-2869. Gloster did not veto any of the recent changes the senate made, but did veto a provision that had not yet been discussed.

Currently, the bill reads that all Legislative officers, Executive Cabinet members and Judicial leadership are non-voting ex-officio members of the GOC.

In an email, SG Advisor Victoria Shore wrote, “our Constitution and Statutes do state they are non-voting members. However, they can attend a meeting by virtue of their office- or because of the office they hold. Again, as our documents state, they are not voting members, they can participate if the chair so deems, which they almost always do. They can also be of value when there are questions that need to be answered or the group needs to have direction- and asks for it.”

Gloster’s veto trimmed the number of ex-officio members who can participate in GOC discussion.

Attorney General Dana Baker explained two routes that the GOC could take. One would be to table the discussion for a later date and override Gloster’s veto with a two-thirds majority vote in Senate.

The other would be to amend the bill now, if the GOC agrees with Gloster. However, if they decided to go with this route, the bill would not be in law for at least another month.

The GOC decided to table the discussion for a later date. This put the new amendments and new senate additions from earlier in the meeting on hold as well.

Chairwoman Paola Lorenzo calls the University and Student Affairs Committee meeting to order.Photo by Kalee Ball
Chairwoman Paola Lorenzo calls the University and Student Affairs Committee meeting to order.
Photo by Kalee Ball

At the USAC meeting, members edited Osprey Voice questions, which are part of a survey intended to give senators feedback so they can represent students. Set to be released the next week, the questions are centered on health and other topics such as the Real Food Campaign, the Student Wellness Complex and the Breathe Fresh Campaign.

USAC Chairman Caleb Grantham reminded the committee to reach out to students, as all meetings are public, referring to SG’s recent leadership retreat.

Newly elected senator Joshua Delmastro defended an absence appeal during the meeting. Delmastro said that he was in Orlando visiting family when he missed the emergency Senate meeting and the USAC meeting on May 18.

Once a senator reaches four absence points, they are subject to a committee hearing in which they can have all, some or none of their absence points removed depending on the circumstances. Otherwise, the senator may face impeachment.

Senator Amanda Harvey, a member of the committee, said that Delmastro seemed to want to continue to be a senator.

The USAC decided to remove one of Delmastro’s absence points. If Delmastro reaches four again, he will not be able to attend another absence hearing.

Because the GOC meeting ran over time, Spinnaker was not able to attend the Budget and Allocations Committee meeting.

Spinnaker will update when the minutes of the meeting are available.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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