Despite a near splitting of ticket, candidates unite for ‘greater good’

Jonathan Ramos/Staff Writer

The Student Government Council at Biscayne Bay Campus’ presidential election is uncontested, but it hasn’t been free of controversy.

Initially a presidential ticket featuring SGC-BBC Speaker of the Senate Pablo Haspel running for president with SGC-BBC Senator at Large Oluwatobi Adekoya as Vice President, there were a slew of dealings that preceded the ticket being finalized.

Adekoya emailed elections board Commissioner Weiye Wang on March 5, a week after the deadline, attempting to split the presidential ticket.

In addition, Adekoya also filed a Writ of Certiorari on March 21 in an attempt to disqualify Haspel because of application concerns, asking the SGC-BBC Supreme Court to rule Haspel ineligible to run for office.

Neither of Adekoya’s complaints came to fruition, however, as Haspel was ruled eligible and the original ticket was restored in a March 26 hearing.

“Those are the types of things you need to set aside for the greater good, in this case the student body,” Haspel said. “He’s not here to serve me, I’m not here to serve him, we’re not here to serve each other. We’re here to serve the student body.”

Haspel has since spoken to Adekoya to clear the air, and is confident his running mate will become better acquainted with the council’s governing documents. Adekoya was unavailable for comment at press time.

“I’ve worked with him the entire year in Senate. I am comfortable with his knowledge,” Haspel said, while adding that everyone in the council is thoroughly briefed on the governing documents at the beginning of each semester. “They are very long documents, so every now and then you might have a mishap, you might forget a certain part of it, and that’s completely acceptable.”

Haspel’s platform includes addressing communication between the council and student organizations. This could also alleviate what he calls a ‘lack of overall student involvement.’ Haspel says that although it is hard to tangibly quantify this, he is committed to it.

“I would like to build a foundation,” Haspel said. “Student involvement is not something that happens overnight. It’s something that you set the groundwork for and it begins to transform the student body and student interest. [Working with] SGA, SPC, SOC, Panther Power, BBH, to make sure that they have the tools and we are there to support them to make sure they are able to expand and we are able to expand.”

Haspel feels that communication within the council has also lacked this year.

“Currently there is very little communication between the branches,” he said. “The different branches don’t necessarily always know the sufficient amount of time and what each other is doing. That would be one thing, making sure that senate know about appointments, about different things that are coming up before nominations prior to the actual day.”

Haspel will graduate this semester with a bachelors degree in Economics, International Relations and Political Science and has been accepted to graduate school, where he will pursue a masters in Public Administration. Haspel initially joined Student Government as a Senator At Large and Speaker Pro Tempore in the Spring of 2011. He was an Honors College Senator from Fall 2011 to this Spring, in addition to his speaker of the Senate duties.

Among Haspel’s other goals for his upcoming presidency are pushing for more classes at BBC. While this entails ensuring that students voices are heard in regards to class demands, Haspel sees technology playing a big part in the future.

“We have done a lot of expansion in terms of technology in the last few years,” Haspel said. “So what we can do is have smart classes with video links and you are able to have classes here and at [Modesto Maidique Campus] going on simultaneously where you’re able to interact while you’re here, with the professor and with the rest of the class.”

In his SGC-BBC tenure. Haspel has played a large role in the rewriting of the councils statutes last year, while also working closely with Wolfe University Center Director Greg Olson on crafting a three phase plan to renovate the Wolfe Center beginning in the Summer of 2012.

SGA elections will take place on April 3 and 4, and students can vote on or by stopping by Academic One between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

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