Final post-merger SGA structure proposed

Gerard Albert III/Assistant News Director


The Student Government is putting proposed constitutional changes to a vote on Tuesday, Sept. 25 and Wednesday Sept. 26. Students from all campuses will be able to vote on the changes; most notably a new executive branch structure. The proposal includes one president and one executive vice president that will preside over all campuses. Under them, a vice president from Biscayne Bay campus, the Engineering center, FIU @ I-75 and FIU Online.

The reshaping of the executive branch comes after weeks of committee meetings and back and forth between the student government councils from the Modesto Maidique campus and Biscayne Bay campus. SGC-MMC President Jose Sirven and his staff initially pushed for a centralized government including only one president and one vice president to oversee all campuses.

“We have issues with housing, with parking and transportation and advising has always been an issue for us, these are not issues that are specific to the campuses but these are issues that all students face,” said Sirven.

The proposal faced immediate resistance from SGC-BBC President Jefferson Noel and his staff who believed that the lack of representation and understanding of BBC culture in the one president system would ultimately hurt the students at their campus.

“It’s not that I was fighting against something, I was fighting for something,” said Noel, “for a guarantee that BBC and I-75 would have high level representation in the executive branch.”

SGC-BBC committee members held firm against Sirven’s proposal and after three committee meetings a compromise was reached.

“I still think that one vice president is the best but I recognize that BBC and the other campuses want representation,” said Sirven, “so I think this is the best compromise.”

As for the duties of the executive vice president, Sirven wants them to oversee meetings with the campus specific vice presidents and act as a liason to the president. He also wants a reliable second in command.

“I would like the executive vice president to be second in line, just in case…whatever may come.” Sirven said.

These changes are a result of the merger mandated by the office of Student Affairs stating that the SGC-MMC and SGC-BBC will become one SGA by the start of the 2019 academic year. Talks of a merger had floated around in previous years but were ultimately abandoned when members of the SGC-BBC felt that the process was being rushed.

The merge is something BBC students do not want according to Noel. The SGC-BBC president also said that the merger will give BBC and I-75 students less representation than they have now.

“The students stance hasn’t changed and therefore mine hasn’t either. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t or shouldn’t work with making it the best possible outcome.” said Noel.

Sirven disagrees. In a speech to the SGC-MMC senate Sirven claimed that the merger would be the fix for decades of underrepresentation and blamed the separation of councils for preventing true representation of all students.

The week of Sept. 10, the SGA will be hosting town halls to answer questions and hear concerns from students about the changes to the constitution before they are put to a student vote Sept. 25 to Sept. 26.

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