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September Executive Report

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

The Executive Branch of Student Government has been hard at work over the course of the last month to improve the quality of student life here are the Modesto A. Maidique Campus. Detailed below is a record of the executive branch’s activties since the publication of the last newsletter.

Your SGC-MMC President Helena Ramirez has assembled a “Special Projects Committee,” a team of student government officials and student leaders campus wide who will be facilitating an event sometime during the spring 2010 semester. The unveiling of this event will place during the week of Homecoming, from the 1st to the 6th of November. For more details, stay tuned to the October newsletter! President Ramirez will also be facilitating a “Student Engagement Series,” an opportunity for students to discuss their issues and concerns with their elected student officials and members of the student body. Make sure to check out our events calendar for more details!

Director of Campus Life Alex Lastra will be working with Press Secretary Williams to facilitate involvement.fiu.edu, a resource that will centralize everything student involvement related at FIU. Director Lastra is currently in the process of facilitating the logistics of this project with Technology Coordinator Luis Masieri and Assistant Director of Campus Life and SGC-MMC Faculty Advisor Jose Toscano. The program is scheduled to launch during the first week of the spring 2011 semester. Stay abreast of Director Lastra’s progress on involvement.fiu.edu in the October newsletter!

Technology Coordinator Luis Masieri and Marketing Coordinator Miriam Blasco have been working diligently to streamline SGC-MMC’s marketing strategy. Coordinator Masieri has been making a series of improvements to our website and our Facebook. In the coming weeks, our Facebook, which you can find by typing in the keywords “FIU Student Government Association,” will soon feature a welcome page that highlights Student Government and the University in general. Check out our Facebook for this update! Coordinator Blasco has been working with members of Cabinet, Senate and Campus Publications to ensure that our overall marketing strategy is consistent. As part of SGC-MMC’s marketing strategy, stay tuned to the October issue of the Newsletter for changes and improvements!

It is crucially important that FIU students have an active voice in our local community. Some of our most crucial political issues often directly affect the youth of this country. Yet, young voters are highly underestimated by major politicians and political analysts. SGC-MMC’s Student Lobbying Coordinator Sara Conklin is proud to announce this year’s Panther Vote: 2010. The objective of Panther Vote: 2010 is to encourage students who are not registered to vote to do so via lectures by guest speakers and peer dialogue. The event will also feature free food, music and entertainment. For more information, stay connected! http://fiu.edu/~sga!

SGC-MMC’s Intern Coordinators Monique Rodriguez and Laura Farinas have extended the application deadline for the intern program to today, the 27th of September 2010 at or before 5pm. The second round of interviews will take place on the 1st of October in GC 243 from 3pm-5pm. The SGA Intern Program provides students the opportunity to not only get involved in campus life, but to prepare for student leadership. For more information, visit http://fiu.edu/~sga!

Chief Information Officer Julio Yanes will be facilitating a Student Services Survey, a project designed to assess the quality of student services campus wide. The results will enable student government to provide various departments with feedback as to what types of experiences students are having at their respective offices and what they can do to improve the student experience.

Coordinator of International Student Affairs Darren Shillingford has been hard at work on behalf of International Students, facilitating their issues and concerns to the respective departments (this needs to be revised, as I know that Darren has worked on more than simply this). Additionally, Coordinator Shillingford will be working closely with President Ramirez to coordinate the special project during the spring 2010 semester. For more details, stay connected! http://fiu.edu/~sga!

Press Secretary Dean Williams will be facilitating the Fall 2010 Press Conference, a series of information sessions designed to inform the student body of Student Government’s progress. For more information, please visit the events calendar section of this newsletter! Beginning in October, Press Secretary Williams will be facilitating a “Faculty, Staff and Administration Appreciation Initiative,” honoring members of the university community for their service and contribution to the development and advancement of Florida International University. Postings of the initiative will right here at http://fiu.edu/~sga! Additionally, Press Secretary Williams, in conjunction with the Graham Center, the Student Programming Council and the Student Alumni Association will facilitate “Back to the Future in Blue and Gold.” More details on this event will become available during month of October, so stay connected! http://fiu.edu/~sga!

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September Judicial Report

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Desk of Veronica Guerra

SGC-MMC Supreme Court Chief Justice

The Court has been busy at work serving the student body. Detailed below is a record of the Court’s activity since the publication of the last Newsletter.

The Senate has confirmed Michael Foley, Erica Estevez and Jessica Medina to serve as Associate Justices on the Supreme Court. The newly confirmed Associate Justices complete the Supreme Court, each of which will serve a two-year term.

In the past month, the Court has received three Writs of Certiorari. The first, which the Court declared moot because no case or controversy exists, was filed by a concerned member of the student body seeking clarification of the term “deliberations” in Article V, Section 3 (d) of the SGA Constitution, questioned the lack of legislation governing the overall administration of the SGC-MMC Supreme Court, and addressed the issues of a lack of transparency and accountability of the SGC-MMC Supreme Court to the student body.

The second Writ was filed by SGC-MMC Attorney General Altanese Phenelus, in an effort to clarify whether or not the Senate has the power and authority to question SGC-MMC Comptroller Maria Rosa Blanco, as the Constitution and the Statutes are inconsistent relative to the Comptroller’s role in student government.

The third and final Writ, filed by a concerned member of the student body, requesting that the Court review portions of the elections code to ensure that the Student Elections Board is not exercising powers reserved for the Legislative Branch of Student Government, as detailed in Article III, Section 5 (A) of the SGA Constitution.

The October Newsletter will feature the Court’s decisions on these Writs, as well as any other developments. Stay connected at fiu.edu/~sga!

September Legislative Report

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Desk of William-Jose Velez

SGC-MMC Senate Speaker

The first month of the academic school year has been witness to an unprecedented amount of activity, all to the benefit of the student body. Detailed below is a progress report of the Senate’s activity since the publication of the August newsletter.

Chairman of the Senate’s Rules, Legislation and Judiciary Committee Jesus Borrero is proud to report that nine pieces of legislation made it to the Senate floor, eight of which were voted on and enacted into law. Detailed below are the items of legislation and how each benefited the student body:

SR 1036

In Support of Re-entry Visas for Iranian Students and Scholars in the United States

Upon the passage of SR 1036, a notarized copy was submitted to the Honorable Janice Jacobs, Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs of the Department of State. Similar action has been taken by student governments and university administrations nationwide, in an effort to effect the legislation that prevents Iranian students from returning home on holidays and/or in cases of emergencies.

SR 1037

In Support of Frost Art Museum Student Day 2010

This resolution appropriated $500 to the Frost Art Museum in support of the annual Frost Art Museum Student Day 2010, an event facilitated by the Frost Art Museum in an effort to engage students and make them aware of Museum’s services and activities. The Frost Art Museum Student Day 2010 took place on the 1st of September, and had a turnout in excess of 300 students!

SR 1039

Graduate Student Funding Committee Exemption Act of 2010

This resolution affords the GSFC the power and authority to appropriate funds to Graduate and Professional students to attend conferences, professional development seminars, and to conduct research, without the advice and consent of the full senate.  This Act empowers the Graduate delegation within Senate to serve their constituency in an effective, timely fashion.

SR 1040

In Support of Additional Resources for the College of Business Administration

The impact of the university-wide budget crunch has decreased the number of Professors, and hence, course offerings, at the College of Business Administration. Upon the passage of the SR 1040, copies were sent to the Dean and Associate Deans of the College of Business, the Board of Trustees of FIU and President Rosenberg. Accompanying the resolution was a memorandum from the SGC-MMC College of Business Senate Delegation. To compliment the resolution, the delegation facilitated “College of Business Administration Exposed,” an engagement, town hall styled meeting in which students had an opportunity to share the issues and concerns with their elected student leaders along with faculty, staff and administration at the College of Business.

SR 1044

Senate Emoluments Establishment Act of 2010

By establishing a minimum percentage for remunerating SGC-MMC Senators, this Act is a proactive measure taken to ensure that future Senators are compensated for the services to the university community in a fair manner.

SR 1041

To Encourage the Passage of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act

SR 1041 is an effort by the SGC-MMC Senate to support the DREAM Act, currently being debated on the floor of the United States Congress. If the DREAM Act does in fact become law, 192,000 undocumented youths in the State of Florida alone would be able to stay in the United States and pursue post secondary education. College of Arts and Sciences Senator Moses Aluicio, one of the Sponsors of SR 1040, has vowed to remit copies of this resolution to “…as many elected officials as possible…”

SR 1042

Honoring Bruce Hauptli’s Tireless Commitment to FIU

This resolution celebrates the achievements of Philosophy Professor Dr. Bruce Hauptli, and his contribution to the university community. A copy of the resolution has been sent to the Professor.

SR 1043

Graduate Student Funding Committee Funding Act of 2010

SR 1043 establishes guidelines that the GSFC will adhere to when processing applications for and awarding funding to Graduate and Professional students to attend conference and professional development seminars and conduct research.

SR 1045: tabling pending second reading on the 20th of September

The Select Committee on Political Parties Regulation Creation Act of 2010

During elections in the spring of 2010, the SGC-MMC Supreme Court ruled that candidates for student office had the right to campaign for and endorse other candidates. The Court’s decision laid the foundation for the formation of political parties here at FIU. Should SR 1045 become law, it would empower Speaker Velez to create and establish an Ad Hoc Committee to conduct research on political party systems at College and Universities nation wide and to make recommendations to the Senate as to how political parties at FIU should be regulated.

The Senate has also begun engaging students through several Town Hall Meetings. The first of these was the Engineering and Computing Town Hall Meeting held on the 2nd of September 2010 with the participation of President Mark Rosenberg. As previously mentioned, “College of Business Exposed,” provided a unique opportunity for students to learn about internships, campus involvement opportunities and discuss their issues and concerns with elected student officials and faculty, staff and administrators at the College of Business. The Graduate Student Funding Committee facilitated “Show Me The Money,” a series of town hall meetings geared towards educating Graduate and Professional students about the new mechanism now in place to request and secure funding to conduct research and attend conference and professional development seminars.

Senate has announced an “Open Government Initiative,” a program designed to create and establish a system of accountability and transparency here at SGC-MMC. The first aspect of this initiative is a revision of the SGC-MMC Statutes. Members of the Senate have begun making revisions to the SGC-MMC Statutes, the document that governs the daily operations of SGC-MMC. The revised statutes, which will include an Ethics Code, a revamped Finance and Elections Code and a restructuring of the rules and regulations governing each of the Senate’s Committees. The revision of the Statutes should be complete by the end of October.

In an effort to hold student government officials accountable to perform their duties, the Senate will facilitate a series of special meetings, in which Senators and Cabinet members will be brought to the floor for questioning. The first special meeting will take place today in GC 150 at, at which SGC-MMC Comptroller Maria Rosa Blanco, SGC-MMC Director of External Relations Andrea Alhadari, SGC-MMC Director of Campus Life Alex Lastra and SGC-MMC Chief Information Officer Julio Yanes will appear before the Senate to discuss their objectives and progress.

Third and finally, Chairman of the Internal Affairs Committee Daniel Gonzalez unveiled the Senate Compliance Dashboard, a mechanism that will enable students to stay abreast as it pertains to the progress of their elected student government officials. The dashboard is available for public consumption at:

http://www2.fiu.edu/~sga/senatorsCompliance.html.

Finally, the Senate opened up an application process to fill Senate seats for the Colleges of Business Administration, Education, Nursing and Health Sciences, Architecture and the Arts and Public Health and Social Work. A confirmation hearing was held on the 20th of September in GC 150.

September Letter from the President

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Fellow Golden Panthers,

On the 11th of September, we celebrate the life of FIU student and athlete Kendall Berry, honored those who lost their lives as a result of the 11th of September attacks and witnessed the swearing in of officers to the United States Army. With record attendance at FIU’s first home football game, we cheered on our football team with passion and enthusiasm. Despite an impressive performance, our beloved football team was unable to secure a win against Rutgers. In light of the un-presentenced level of school pride and spirit displayed by the university community, our football team is prepared to approach the remainder of the 2010 football season with a sense of purpose and a desire to win, all of which would not have been possible without your support.

At a recent Board of Trustees meeting, I voted in opposition to the smoking ban. I am of the opinion that if such a policy is to be impressed upon the university community, significant investments, whether financial or otherwise, be made in the implementation of the smoking ban policy. It is my hope that the implementation of the smoking ban includes an effective strategy to educate the university community on the objective of the policy.

Since the publication of the August Newsletter, SGC-MMC has been hard at work pursuing the best interests of you, the student body, all of which are outlined below.

Should you have any questions, comments and concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me us e-mail at sga@fiu.edu, stop by our office in Graham Center, Room 211, or contact us via telephone at 305.348.2121. On behalf of all of us at SGC-MMC, we wish you the best of luck as you navigate the fall 2010 semester!

August 2010 Newsletter-Executive

August 29, 2010 Leave a comment


From The Desk of SGC-MMC Chief of Staff Alina Gonzalez

During the summer 2010 term, the members of the SGC-MMC Cabinet have been hard at work devising ways in which to engage the student body and the faculty, staff and administration of FIU. Detailed below are just some of the new and interesting ways in which the SGC-MMC Cabinet will contribute to the quality of campus life during the 2010-11 academic school year.

Led by SGC-MMC Director of External Relations Andrea Alhadari, the SGC-MMC Department of External Relations will now facilitate the SGC-MMC Monthly E-Newsletter! If registered, you will receive an e-blast, which neatly summarizes and links to the e-newsletter at fiu.edu/~sga.  This resource will provide an opportunity for students, faculty, staff and administration to stay abreast of SGC-MMC’s progress and campus events. Additionally, monthly e-newsletters will feature a Student of the Moment, an individual selected by SGC-MMC who personifies student leadership and plays a positive role in campus life at the university. The newsletter will be published on the last Monday of every month, so keep your eye out for it! For more information on how to submit nominations for the Student of the Moment or to make recommendations for the Events Calendar, e-mail SGC-MMC Publications Coordinator Nicole Buchely at nbuch002@fiu.edu, or SGC-MMC Director of External Relations Andrea Alhadari at aalha002@fiu.edu. To submit a request to be added to the monthly e-blast list, send e-mail to SGC-MMC Technology Coordinator Luis Masieri at lmasi002@fiu.edu.

SGC-MMC Director of Campus Life Alex Lastra will unveil a series of e-resources whose objective is to enhance the quality of student life. Coming soon to fiu.edu/~sga will be a meeting/event planning resource, a tool that students will be able to use to research other venues available on campus to facilitate meetings and events. Additionally, Director Lastra will be working diligently to create an involvement database, a resource that will centralize activities and opportunities for students to increase their level of participation in student life at the university. For more information on and to make suggestions as to how we can cater these upcoming and exciting projects to best cater to the student body, send e-mail SGC-MMC Director of Campus Life Alex Lastra at alast003@fiu.edu.

SGC-MMC Press Secretary Dean Williams and Assistant Director of Campus Life and SGC-MMC Faculty Advisor Jose Toscano will be facilitating a faculty, staff and administration appreciation and recognition initiative throughout the academic school year. The initiative will feature members of the university’s faculty, staff and administration who have served the university for twenty years or longer in either an academic or administrative capacity. For more information on the faculty, staff and administration appreciation and recognition initiative, please contact Assistant Director of Campus Life and SGC-MMC Faculty Advisor Jose Toscano at toscanoj@fiu.edu.

SGC-MMC Student Lobbying Coordinator, in conjunction with the SGC-MMC Department of External Relations, will host FIU’s 45th Birthday Celebration! The celebration is set to take place on the 10th of September. The day’s events will begin with giveaways and spirit themed contests in the Graham Center from 11am to 12pm, then move outdoors at the fountain, the crossroads of Deuixieme Maison, Green Library, Graham Center and the Charles Perry Building, from 12pm to 2pm. These activities will serve as affinity and engagement pieces, affording SGC-MMC the opportunity to impress upon the student body school spirit and pride for FIU. For more information on the festivities set to take place on the 10th of September, contact myself, SGC-MMC Chief of Staff Alina Gonzalez at alina.gonzalez3@fiu.edu.

SGC-MMC will be facilitating a fall press conference series, will serve as a platform upon which SGC-MMC will promote transparency of its activities and afford members of the student body an opportunity to interact with and communicate their desires and concerns to student leaders. The first portion of the press conference will be a summary of SGC-MMC’s progress during the previous month and a general outlook of the events to take place during the upcoming month. The second half will be a question and answer segment, providing members of student media and the student body an opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns and desires, which members of student government present will address. The dates for the fall press conference series are the 24th of September, the 22nd of October, the 12th of November and the 3rd of December. All of the press conferences in the series will be held in GC 150 from 3-5pm. For more information on the fall press conference series, please contact SGC-MMC Press Secretary Dean Williams at dwill039@fiu.edu.

Stay in touch with SGC-MMC! Visit us at fiu.edu/~sga, fiusga.wordpress.com, and on Facebook at keyword “FIU Student Government Association!”

August 2010 Newsletter-Legislative

August 29, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Desk of Senate Speaker William-Jose Velez

Senator, College of Engineering and Computing

The summer of 2010 brought lots of change and structure to the SGC-MMC Senate, which has allowed us to prepare for the ensuing academic school year. Discussed below are just some of the ways in which we have engaged the student body over the summer.

Along with Dean Amir Mirmiran, ESC President Ana Puente, SGC-MMC President Helena Ramirez, SGC-MMC Engineering and Computing Senator Tara Jafarmadar, I have been hard at work on behalf of the students at the Engineering Center in facilitating the completion of a Student Lounge. The Lounge is scheduled to be complete sometime during the fall semester. For additional details, please, contact me at wvele001@fiu.edu.

First, the passage of the Constitution amendments allowed the SGC-MMC Senate to appoint two additional Graduate Senators. This has increased the number of graduate senators from 4 to 6. Senate created and established the Graduate Student Funding Committee (GSFC), which is primarily responsible for awarding Graduate students funding to conduct research and attend conferences and professional development seminars. Thus far, the GSFC has appropriated $15,000 to fund the Scholarly Forum, $5,000 to the Academy of Teaching and initial $5,000 reservation for BBC Graduate Students to conduct research and attend conferences and professional development seminars. Additionally, the GSFC has already awarded $3,000 to graduate and professional students. To find out how you can request funding to conduct research or attend a conference or professional development seminar, please visit fiu.edu/~gsfc/, or contact your student representatives directly!

Erica Edwards Graduate Senator & Chairwoman of the GSFC Eedwa005@fiu.edu
Rachel Emas Graduate Senator & Vice Chairwoman of the GSFC Rachel.emas@fiu.edu
Alexander Barrio Law Senator Abarr033@fiu.edu
Dillon Arango Medical Senator dillonarango@gmail.com
T.J. Liguori Graduate Senator Tligu001@fiu.edu
Abdul Mohammed Graduate Senator Amoha019@fiu.edu

Is your organization a part Council for Student Organizations (CSO) and you need funding for an event? Are you an undergraduate student in need of funding to attend a conference or conduct research? Want to find out more about the SGC-MMC’s Finance Code? The SGC-MMC Senate is here to assist! For more information on how you can apply and/or obtain a copy of the SGC-MMC Finance Code, please visit our website at fiu.edu/~sga/financeCommittee, or contact At Large Senator and Chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee Cristina Loreto at clore002@fiu.edu, for more details!

Chairman of the Senate’s Committee of Internal Affairs Daniel Gonzalez has been hard at work devising ways in which to keep your SGC-MMC student leaders accountable! Along with Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules, Legislation and Judiciary Jesus Borerro, Chairman Gonzalez will be working diligently to create and establish a Senate Ethics Code during the fall 2010 semester. Chairman Gonzalez will also be working to institute a Senate Compliance Dashboard, a resource that students can access online to stay abreast of and track their respective student leader’s progress, as well as conducting a Professionalism workshop to educate SGC-MMC Senators and Cabinet members on issues such as style of dress, telephone and e-mail etiquette. To request further information or make suggestions on how Chairman Gonzalez can better serve you, send him e-mail at dgonz068@fiu.edu.

Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Student Advocacy Patrick O’Keefe, in conjunction with Intern Coordinators Laura Farinas and Monique Rodriquez, has been hard at work participating in incoming student orientation over the course of the summer. Chairman O’Keefe and Coordinators Farinas and Rodriquez have been engaging incoming freshmen and transfer students, informing them of SGC-MMC’s objectives and the SGA intern program. If you are interested in finding out more about and/or applying to become an SGA intern program, visit our website at fiu.edu/~sga/internProgram.html, or contact Coordinator Farinas at lfari001@fiu.edu or Coordinator Rodriguez at mrodr225@fiu.edu. Have an issue about student life at FIU that would like for Senate to advocate? Send Chairman O’Keefe e-mail at pokee001@fiu.edu, expressing your concerns.

July 2010 Student of the Moment

August 29, 2010 Leave a comment

July 2010 Student of The Moment

Elizabeth Bukowski

SGC-MMC’s Student of the Moment for the month of July is 2010 Peer Advisor Elizabeth Bukowski.

Before moving to Central Florida to participate in a seven month Internship Program at Walt Disney World, Elizabeth had never left her hometown of Noblesville, Indiana, where she was born and raised.

While the intensive, seven-month internship program culminated in certification as a “Walt Disney World Cast Member” the winter of 2009, Elizabeth mentions that “…the most profound aspect of the internship program took place on a road trip to Miami,” which is when she discovered FIU.

“When I visited the campus for the first time,” Elizabeth mentions,  “I knew that FIU was the school I wanted to attend.  The beautiful campus is unlike any I have seen, and I knew this would soon be my new home.” That affirmation came to fruition when Elizabeth enrolled at FIU in the fall of 2009.

A member of the Class of 2012 and a recent admit to FIU’s Honors College, Elizabeth is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Philosophy and has aspirations to attend Law School once she completes her undergraduate education.

Along with her experience as an Intern in Central Florida and her decision to attend FIU in the winter of 2009, Elizabeth cites participation in the Peer Advisor Program as integral to and the best decision she has made thus far in her undergraduate career, noting, “…it is truly a rewarding, enriching experience to assist incoming FIU students with their transition to college life.”