Chief Justice resigns after inappropriate outburst

Chief Justice Daniel Velazquez speaking at the university-wide congress meeting.

By: Gerard Albert III/Assistant News Director


Daniel Velasquez, chief justice of the Student Government Council at the Biscayne Bay campus is out.

SGC-BBC President Jefferson Noel asked Velasquez to resign after he verbally attacked senators and members of the Modesto Maidique Campus cabinet, most notably President Sabrina Rosell, during a congress meeting.

The university-wide congress, hosted at BBC on Monday, Nov. 5, brought members of both BBC and MMC senates together for the first time in at least 10 years to discuss merging the two councils.

Velasquez used the question and answer period to lecture to the SGC-MMC senators about decentralization of government, comparing the SGA merge to Soviet Russia. His tone then turned more aggressive.

“You guys should know this, haven’t you taken history lessons?” he continued through small interruptions from MMC senators, “I’m sorry, I’m just trying to educate some people.”

That was enough for the MMC senators who weren’t paying attention to raise their heads from staring at laptops and phones.

Velasquez’s tone sped up and his voice rose as he tried to drown out the MMC senators who were now calling for order from BBC Senate Speaker John Habib.

“This constitution was supposed to be drafted by people that had the best interests of students, but this was not the case,” he said finally giving in to his anger and turning to Rosell. “You have lost all your merit…you were found in a group-chat based on a contract…”

Velasquez was referring to the group chat between SGC-MMC members and Rosell where a contract guaranteeing paid positions was posted and discussed. Rosell denied involvement in the making of the contract but said she did know about it and failed to act.

Habib then cut Velasquez off, calling for order while senators from MMC verbally objected to Velasquez’s rant. It took a minute to calm the senate down and SGC-BBC spent the rest of the meeting doing damage control to recover the collaborative nature they hoped for in the meeting.

Velasquez offered his half-hearted apology to “those senators that honestly have nothing to do with this” which was immediately shot down by MMC senators who called it “extremely disrespectful” and sent Habib backtracking into apology after apology.

“This is not the position of the SGC-BBC, I just want to make that clear,” Habib said.

Noel then removed himself from the meeting to discipline Velasquez and shortly re-entered.

In an executive board meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 7, Velasquez offered the same apology to the cabinet of SGC-BBC.

He then met privately with Noel and Habib and signed his resignation letter but refused to comment after multiple calls from Student Media.

Here is the recording of Velasquez’s outburst and some of the fallout. Recording by Gerard Albert III/PantherNow.

Featured image by Karla Hernandez/SGC-BBC

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