Despite an increase in activity, SGC positions still vacant

Julia Duba / FIUSM Staff

After the uncontested elections for the Student Government Council at Biscayne Bay Campus, positions are still available to students interested in the senate, cabinet and judicial levels.

University students have received e-mails about openings in the senate for education, hospitality management, nursing and health sciences, housing, Broward Pines Center, lower division, at-large and graduate.

There are cabinet openings for chief of staff, clerk of council, director of government relations, international relations, lectures, elections commissioner, internship coordinator, press secretary and marketing coordinator. In the judicial branch, there are two positions open for court clerk.

Five applications were received for senate positions. The following were appointed for their respective departments: Kerline Honore, Arts & Sciences; Carolina Krauskopf, Honors College; Stephen Nuñez, School of Journalism and Mass Communications and Sola Adebodun, at-large.

“The more I can do for FIU, the better FIU will be,” Nuñez said.

Nuñez hopes to work with student advocacy to ensure the voice of the student body  is heard.

“Students can feel free to contact me at any time with any problems they may have,” Nuñez said.

According to Larissa Adames, Student Government Association clerk, there are 22 vacant positions and 42 filled positions at SGC-BBC, which is the smallest amount of vacant positions SGC-BBC has ever had.

“By next week, we expect about four potential candidates to be approved for the cabinet positions,” Adames said.

Olwatamilore Odimayo, speaker of senate, explained that SGC-BBC goes through a process that approves candidates based upon requirements, which include a 2.5 GPA minimum and at least half of the student’s classes must be taken at BBC.

According to Odimayo, the lack of people appointed “slowed down” SGC last year.

“By filling these positions, we can have a more effective Council,” Odimayo said.

Rafael Zapata, assistant director and SGA advisor, adds that SGC will expect to fill most  of the positions by the fall semester.

“The important thing is to get them started right away so that [SGC] can set their goals,” Zapata said.

According to Pablo Haspel, president of SGC-BBC, vacant positions are not a novelty for SGC; it is something they have to deal with and improve upon.

Last year, Odimayo participated in recruitment events, which included pizza and t-shirt giveaways. He explained that this year, SGC will present at freshmen orientations to recruit applicants.

“If we can get freshmen, that means we will have people who can be in SGC for the next four years. That’s the most important thing,” Odimayo said.

Zapata said that SGC has been in contact with deans from different schools to encourage their students to apply.

“We have also been marketing in our new website and will have flyers going out [on] all the LCD screens across the Wolfe University Center,” Zapata said.

Haspel hopes to attract incoming interns and plans to motivate students to join other organizations.

“We can’t be successful if every other organization fails. It’s a united campus; every organization has a role to play,” Haspel said.

Odimayo claims that some of the applicants appointed have been in SGC before, bringing some prior experience into the council this coming year.

According to Haspel, many of the new applicants have been in other student organizations and have enough experience to solve issues on campus.

“It’s good in the sense that we’re not starting from scratch,” Haspel said.

Zapata expects the newly-appointed senators “to work hard to accomplish the goals for student government and represent the students.”

According to Haspel, the graduate senator and press secretary positions need to be filled most urgently because they will play a key role in carrying out the strategies for the coming semester.

Odimayo urges students to apply to much-needed positions in the lower division, such as the nursing and health sciences senator and Broward Pines Center senator positions. According to Odimayo, SGC-BBC  has never had representation in the Broward Pines Center.

Odimayo adds that being involved with student government has opened doors to new job opportunities and has helped him do well in his studies.

“We are going to get a lot of things accomplished. I highly encourage students to get involved,” Zapata said.

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