LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Editorial wrong on court ruling

After examining The Beacon editorial on the Student Government Council-Modesto Maidique Campus Supreme Court decision in the Ex Parte Velez SC 001 Case, Coalition of Students for Reform believes The Beacon has overstretched aspects of the court’s ruling, and that with its scathing rhetoric against the court, has overlooked the relevant aspects of the case.

“There have been egregious gaps in legality in the budgeting process at all stages since I was student,” says Ben Badger Jr., CSR Director of Alumni Affairs.
“The fact that the SGA courts have evolved enough to finally tackle this issue is very promising for the future generations of FIU students.”

By no means does this court case suggest that the SGC-MMC judiciary has jurisdiction over the whole of SGA in the view of CSR.

“To claim that this case nullifies the Student Government Council-Biscayne Bay Campus is simply not based on fact,” says William-Jose Velez, CSR President.

“The SGC-MMC court did not reach its decision out of thin air, but instead used the same powers it is granted by the Constitution. Their decision stands to be validated also by the fact that the

SGC-BBC Supreme Court does not appear to have enough members to discharge its constitutional duties; to imply that a decision could not be made unless there was an ad hoc court created does not withstand a constitutional test.” The Constitution does not state that a court must create an ad hoc court for U-Wide issues, rather that it is one of the powers they have, as “becomes necessary.”

While CSR applauds The Beacon for being so diligent in covering this issue, again CSR wants to reiterate the true importance of this case. The budget process is now compliant with Florida law and more transparent.

“SGA has a long history of acting incorrectly simply because the previous administration did the same thing,” says Badger. “However, with every year and every new case, SGA makes leaps and bounds in progress.”

Section III of the Constitution states that SGA will be in compliance with Federal and State laws.

Clearly the current budgetary process conflicts with state law, which is of course why the SGC-MMC Supreme Court ruled the way they did. And that was the core of the case. Not the less than subtle rivalry between the SGC-MMC and SGC-BBC.

When it comes to analyzing this decision, instead of creating an issue out of a thinly constructed argument, we should focus on its real implications.

To have a decision that is so simple and clear in its writing, in our view stands to show the validity and strength of our argument. Because of this, The Beacon’s editorial could have addressed other areas that can raise important questions, such as why even with an argument that is evidently logical, the administration of President Patrick O’Keefe represented by Attorney General Philip Colesanti, decided to defend a process that was so clearly contrary to state law.

Most of us can stand to witness the true and clear cut implications of the Ex Parte Velez SC 001 ruling, which represents a dramatic step forward towards an SGA that operates as the government that it should be.

So let us focus on the real issues at hand, seeking to solve any problems caused by noncompliance with the laws that be, instead of ignoring, or even defending, the status quo and its many faults. That is the right thing to do.

-William-Jose Velez , President of Coalition of Students for Reform

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