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Press Release: Resignation of SGC-MMC Senate Speaker William-Jose Velez

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

PRESS RELEASE

TO: SGC-MMC Senate

SGC-MMC Executive Branch

SGC-MMC Supreme Court

SGA University Wide Council

FIU Student Media

FROM: Hector Mujica, Senate Speaker

DATE: February 2, 2011

SUBJECT: Resignation of SGC-MMC Senate Speaker William-Jose Velez

On February 1, 2011, SGC-MMC Senate Speaker and Senator for the College of Engineeringand Computing William-Jose Velez submitted his resignation to both offices to focus on hisacademic work for the Spring 2011 semester.
“I have had to make the difficult decision to step down from my positions in order to be able tofully focus on my academics,” said Velez. “I do so confident that Senator Hector Mujica will doan extraordinary job as Speaker and that the Senate will continue its work on the many reformswe began this year.”

As per the line of succession detailed in the SGC-MMC Statutes and the SGA Constitution,Speaker Pro Tempore Hector Mujica will now assume the position of Senate Speaker effectiveimmediately, while Finance Committee Chairwoman Cristina Loreto will assume the role ofSenate Speaker Pro Tempore.

Velez added that “it was a great honor and the highest privilege to be able to serve the studentsof the College of Engineering and Computing for the last two years and as Senate Speaker sincesummer 2010, and I want to thank the students for giving me this great opportunity, as well asthe Senate for allowing me to represent them until now.”

The Senate thanks Mr. Velez for his endless and passionate service to this organization. He hasbeen a great asset and has contributed in countless ways to assure that the student body andcampus life continues to improve and be Worlds Ahead.

The time and date for the selection of the new Finance Committee Chair as well as the newSenator for the College of Engineering and Computing will be announced shortly. All future official business and inquiries regarding the SGC-MMC Senate should be directed to SenatorMujica at hmuji001@fiu.edu.

Additional Information
For additional Information, visit our websites at fiu.edu/~sga, fiusga.wordpress.com and facebook.com/fiusga. Youmay also call our office in Graham Center, Room 211, at +1.305.348.2121.
About Florida International University
Florida International University is Miami’s 1st and only public research institution of higher learning. Serving nearly40,000 students, FIU is amongst the 15 largest Universities in the nation, boasting 12 Colleges and Schools thatoffer in excess of 200 Bachelors, Masters, Doctoral and Professional degrees. With over 100,000 Alumni living andworking in South Florida, the impact that FIU has had on the local community is incalculable.
About the Student Government Association at FIU
The Student Government Association at FIU affords students the opportunity to cultivate their leadership skillsby serving as liaisons of the student body to the University Administration, hence gaining valuable experiencein governance and stewardship. With over 30 senators, 20 cabinet members, 10 committees and 20 interns, SGAprovides a challenging yet sustainable environment in which students can contribute to student life and in turn, theuniversity community.
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Press Release: ‘Show Me The Money’ GSFC Town Hall Meetings

September 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Press Release

The Student Government Council at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus (SGC-MMC) at Florida International University (FIU) will facilitate a series of ‘Graduate Student Funding Committee Town Hall Meetings’ throughout the month of September.

Miami, Florida (6 September 2010)—Under the direction of Graduate Senator and Chairwoman of the Graduate Student Funding Board Erika Denise Edwards, the Graduate Student Funding Committee (GSFC) will facilitate a series of ‘Show Me The Money’ Town Hall Meetings, in which members of the GSFC will inform graduate students of its goals for the academic school year, as well as the procedures to follow when filing for funds to conduct research, attend conferences, and professional development seminars.

“Since the summer 2010 term,” mentions Chairwoman Edwards, “the GSFC has received in excess of 100 requests for funding, many of which were denied for administrative reasons. In facilitating the ‘Show Me The Money’ Town Hall Meetings, the GSFC will remind students of the procedures that must be adhered to when filing for funds.”

“In addition to learning more about the funding procedures,” continues Chairwoman Edwards, “Graduate students will have the opportunity to meet their Senators. The ratification of the Constitution in the summer of 2010 afforded graduate students an increased voice in student government. My constituency will be very impressed and pleased with its representatives.”

When questioned about the transition from a governing council to funding committee, Graduate Senator and Vice-Chairwoman of the GSFC Rachel Emas mentions that “my constituency will be delighted by how smoothly the transition has taken place. The increase in funding allows the GSFC to award graduate and professional students once per semester and twice per academic school year.”

The forums will be held in GC 150 on the following dates and times: the 14th of September from 9pm-10pm and from 10pm to 11pm and on the 23rd of September from 8:30pm to 9:30pm and from 9:30pm to 10:30pm. An additional forum will be held in GC 140 on the 22nd of September from 1pm to 2:30pm and from 2:30pm to 4pm.

“Additionally,” continues Vice-Chairwoman Emas, “Graduate Senators now have access to enact legislation that positively impacts its constituency. A prime example is Senate Resolution 1038 that unanimously passed in the Senate meeting on the 23rd of August, ‘In Support of Re-entry visas for Iranian students and scholars in the United States.’ The resolution was submitted, along with resolutions from Student Government Associations and statements from university administrators across the United States, to the Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs of the Department of State, in hopes of effecting change to the current policy.”

“Graduate students will be particularly pleased to find,” notes SGC-MMC Senate Speaker Velez, “that undergraduate Senators and Cabinet members will be in attendance, and will actively participate in the Town Hall Meetings by making presentations on how their respective position within SGC-MMC strives to incorporate the graduate constituency.”

For more information on the ‘Show Me The Money’ Town Hall Meetings, contact Graduate Senator and GSFC Chairwoman Erika Edwards at gsfc@fiu.edu. We hope to see you there!

Press Release: Application Period For Vacant Senate Seats

September 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Press Release

The Student Government Council at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus (SGC-MMC) at Florida International University (FIU) announces an application period to fill six vacant Senate seats.

Miami, Florida (6 September 2010)—SGC-MMC Senate Speaker William-Jose Velez announces that SGC-MMC will facilitate a two-week, open application period to fill six vacant Senate seats.

At current, the following Senate seats are available: one (1) Senate seat for the College of Arts and Architecture, one (1) Senate seat for the College of Public Health and Social Work, two (2) Senate seats for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, one (1) Senate seat for the College of Business Administration, and one (1) Senate seat for the College of Education. Applications can be found at www.fiu.edu/~sga. Complete applications are due no later than the 15th of September 2010, at or before 5pm.

“Instead of holding a special election to fill these Senate vacancies,” mentions SGC-MMC Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Hector Mujica, “Senators deliberated at a meeting on the 31st of August and came to the conclusion that applicants would come before Senate and present their respective qualifications.”

“Pursuant to Article 7, Section 7.04 of the SGC-MMC Statutes” maintains Speaker Velez, “Senate is afforded the authority to confirm Senators as an alternative to facilitating special elections.”

When questioned about the Senate’s method of choice in filling the vacancies, SCG-MMC Vice President Nicholas Autiello II notes “the Senate’s decision is consistent with the powers afforded to them via SGC-MMC’s Statutes. Senate confirmation affords SGC-MMC the mechanism necessary to ensure that the vacancies are filled in a timelier, efficient manner.” “While a special election would have been ideal,” continues Vice President Autiello, “budget constraints make the option of a special election a difficult one to facilitate.”

Article 4 of the SGC-MMC Statutes defines a Senator’s basic responsibilities as the following: a) complete at least 100 student surveys per semester, b) submit two reports to the Senate Speaker per semester, c) meeting with your College’s Dean at least once monthly and d) complete a binder containing their accomplishments and contacts made throughout the year.

“My primary concern as it pertains to the student body,” remarks SGC-MMC President and University Trustee Helena Ramirez, “is that SGC-MMC is engaging the student body. Filling the current six (6) vacant Senate seats in the areas of Arts and Architecture, Public Health and Social Work, Nursing and Health Sciences, Business Administration, and Education, will equip the Senate with the all the tools necessary to fulfill its objective of facilitating the desires and concerns of its relative constituencies.”

“Consequently,” continues President Ramirez, “this equates to Senate and Cabinet’s objectives running parallel to each other, as both branches of student government will be working in tandem, through different means, to engage the student body.”

If you have any questions, comments and/or concerns as it pertains to the open application period to fill the vacant senate seats, please contact SGC-MMC Senate Speaker William-Jose Velez at wvele001@fiu.edu. SGC-MMC is looking forward to engaging the student body this academic school year!

Press Release: Open Government Initiative

September 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Press Release

The Student Government Council at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus (SGC-MMC) at Florida International University (FIU) announces an ‘Open Government Initiative.’

Miami, Florida (6 September 2010)—The SGC-MMC Senate announced today its ‘Open Government Initiative, a series of mechanisms that will make SGC-MMC more transparent and accountable.

The first mechanism is the Senate Compliance Dashboard. Pursuant to Article 4 of SGC-MMC’s Statutes, Senators must adhere to the following requirements: a) collect a 100 student surveys per semester, b) remit two formal reports to the council every semester, c) arrange meetings with the respective College Deans at least once per month and d) complete a binder containing their accomplishments and contacts made throughout the year.

The Senate Compliance Dashboard will serve as a tool for members of the university community to monitor each Senator’s compliance with the aforementioned requirements. This dashboard will be updated weekly and will demonstrate the steps that each senator is taking to fulfill. It is color coded according to the applicable statutes, for easier understanding.

The second mechanism is the disclosure of the spending by both the Graduate Student Funding Committee and the Finance Committee to be available soon on the website. “In light of the fact that” mentions At Large Senator and Chairwoman of the Finance Committee Cristina Loreto, “SGC-MMC’s source of revenue is Activity and Service fees paid by students, we feel that it is only fair and just that a financial record of SGC-MMC’s expenditures and allocations be readily available for consumption by the university community.”

When questioned about the ‘Open Government Initiative,’ Senate Speaker Velez noted “these tools will provide the student body with another reliable mechanism that they can utilize, to stay abreast of SGC-MMC’s progress. Along with the publication of all legislation, agendas minutes, and the SGC-MMC Monthly Newsletter, we have ushered in a new era of unprecedented transparency and accountability, delivering on our promises and proposals at the beginning of the year.”

While the financial records are not available just as yet, the Senate Compliance Dashboard can be viewed at http://www2.fiu.edu/~sga/senatorsCompliance.html. “As the academic year continues,” maintains Senate Speaker Velez “additional mechanisms will be added to the ‘Open Government Initiative,’ in efforts to create an SGC-MMC that is both 100% transparent and accurate.”

For more information on the ‘Open Government Initiative,’ please contact Senate Speaker Velez at wvele001@fiu.edu.

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.