Following Talks of a Merger, SGC-BBC Meets and Elects Interim Leaders

Screenshot of SGC-BBC senate meeting

Teresa Schuster / Assist. News Director

After going months with only three officials and no president, the Student Government Council at the Biscayne Bay Campus decided to take action.

SGC-BBC’s senate met today for the first time since their last elections.

They chose their interim president and senate chair pro-tempore, and reaffirmed their opposition to a potential merger with the Modesto Maidique Campus Student Government Council.

Current SGC-BBC Chief Justice Keanu Orfano was voted interim SGC-BBC president, while at-large senator Melissa Hernandez-Bautista was confirmed as senate chair pro-tempore.

“[SGC-BBC has] looked to be stagnant but that was because we were made to be stagnant,” Orfano told senators. “We are tired of waiting, we’re tired of seeing what they can tell us to do.”

The only other SGC-BBC member present was Diamond Barnett, Health Services Administration senator.

Senators agreed to open applications for the vacant SGC-BBC positions and said openings will be posted on PantherConnect and on SGC-BBC’s social media pages.

“Hopefully we can have our council going like it was before,” Orfano said.

Senators spoke against plans for a merger with SGC-MMC.

“We always want to represent BBC students because we have a unique identity,” said Hernandez-Bautista.

Orfano agreed.

“We want to make sure what we’re doing is the best plan of action for our council, for our campus, and for the university as a whole,” said Orfano. “We are FIU students, yes. But we take on a special identity as BBC students…we want to keep our representation, keep our council.”

Members of FIU’s Black Student Union, who were in attendance, also expressed their support for SGC-BBC’s stance against the merger.

The senators voted to hold an emergency senate meeting this Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. to further discuss their plans for SGC-BBC’s future.

For the past few years, this future has been uncertain.

SGC-BBC has faced difficulties in recent years with electing student officials and fighting against a potential merger.

Following elections in April, SGC-BBC was left with only two senators and a chief justice after new candidate requirements left several students ineligible to run for office.

And this isn’t the first time a merger with SGC-MMC has been proposed. The merger has been discussed multiple times in past years. But each time, the talks ended amid heated disagreements over campus representation and funding.

SGC-BBC members hope more BBC students will be interested in joining this semester, and that this year’s merger talks will be different.

“We didn’t want to stay still for this long time,” said Orfano. “[But] now that we’re getting going we really want to do things.”

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