As empty seats still exist, so too do appointments

By: Becca Griesemer/Staff Writer

In the Student Government Council general meeting at Biscayne Bay Campus on Jan. 26, President Christin “CiCi” Battle appointed an executive assistant to the president in fewer than five minutes.

Battle prefaced the senator’s vote by saying she hoped they would approve Deedee Bing because the hopeful assistant had been “stalking” Battle in order to help her.

Bing’s introduction to the senators included where she was from (China), her major (hospitality), and finally, her dorm room number so that anyone who is interested is welcome to come by for her cooking.

The room was filled with laughter and applause. Bing stepped outside and was approved by the Senate without any deliberation.

The constitution gives the president the right to appoint the executive cabinet, elections board, and chief justice, but at a vacancy-laden council like SGC-BBC, appointments are an ever-occurring procedure, and into the legislative branch as well.

Senators can approve or deny all appointments and recommendations that the president presents to the Senate body, yet many officials feel there is scant need to deny a recommendation made by the president.

“Usually the senate is confident with the executive board’s decisions because they know what it entails to have a big position on campus,” Denise Halpin, SGC-BBC vice president said.

The difference between a recommendation and an appointment, Haplin explained, is that a recommendation is given for a person who would be a strong candidate because they are heavily involved and possess good qualities, whereas an appointment is: “You are appointed into the Senate; you are officially now a member.”

Christopher Lawton was appointed to Chief Justice in the first general meeting of the spring semester.  Halpin said Battle went through an interview process with about seven different candidates for the position.

“CiCi brought Chris before the senate so they could approve or disapprove of him, but she gets to appoint him at the end of the day, though,” Halpin said.

Even if the senate disapproved, Battle could bring her chosen candidate before the senate again, Halpin said.

Former SGC-BBC president, Sholom Neistein, said that the process for the president appointing one person out of seven candidates is completely accurate.

“The constitution states that the president has all the rights to decide who is fit for that position, and if CiCi felt like that person was fit, then it’s within her right,” Neistein said.

But there is no regulation or stipulation in the constitution that says the president can’t present more than one candidate and let the senate vote with more than one option before them.

On this, Neistein expounds: “I have a question for you, on the national scale, in the whole political spectrum that you see: how do they run it?  Do they get all the candidates and they all go before the senate?  Or does the president pick one person and they can shoot that person down or accept that person?  I’m sure CiCi would have loved to put a couple people in front of the senate.”

SGC-BBC senator Jerveris “Jey” Floyd was unbothered by Lawton’s appointment either, because he’s sat in on an interview process before and it’s not a closed door process.

“We’re always open to it, the door is open.  There’s nothing that says no senator can come and sit in on someone who is trying to be in the senate,” Floyd said.

Another comforting factor for Floyd is that, as Halpin assumed, he holds the belief that whoever was thought to be best would be the person to be appointed.

In the case of senators, the constitution says they are to be elected by plurality vote for a one year term, and that if the seat becomes vacant, the Senate may appoint a substitute to fill the seat until the next election.

Floyd and Sagine Delly are the only two hospitality management senators and they were both voted in by the Senate.

For a hospitality student, this can be discomforting.

Laura Marrero, a hospitality senior, has issues with the hospitality school, such as the requirement to take a physical cooking class even though she has no intention of ever working in a kitchen.

But knowing that the student body didn’t elect the senators to represent their school, she said there might be bias from the senators being voted in by the senate.

“If we didn’t propose them there, we don’t know how they feel about the issues,” Marrero said.

Not enough marketing is a student government-admitted reason that students possibly aren’t running for senate of their respective schools.

Marrero doesn’t take that for an excuse.

“I know all about South Beach Food and Wine.  I see flyers for study abroad in China.  But I don’t see anything about elections,” Marrero said.

Neistein said that during his term as president he appointed all the members he wanted to as well, though he would have liked to present more candidates because it allows for a level of understanding of where everyone is coming from, but it would also bring in bias.

“And of course presidents have biases, we’re human. Alas, the constitution doesn’t say you have to show more than one person,” Neistein said.

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