SGA Senate Looks to Fill Seat Vacancies

SGA Senators meet on the first day of the new spring semester. Maya Washburn / PantherNOW

Maya Washburn / Asst. News Director

On the first day of the spring semester, FIU’s Student Government Association (SGA) Senate urged members to help fill empty Senate seats.

The most recent roster reflects 13 Senate seat vacancies out of 47 total positions.

This left six seats open for College of Arts, Sciences and Education (CASE) Senators, two for upper division Biscayne Bay Campus (BBC) Senators and a single spot for BBC housing, lower division BBC, online, School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and law school Senators.

Once elections start at the end of February, new applications will no longer be accepted.

Senate President Nicholas Pastrana urged the Senate to reach out to people they know to fill up Senate vacancies after some have resigned or graduated.

Cristhofer Lugo, Senate floor leader, credits the vacancies to the pandemic. 

“Due to COVID and the many difficulties we all have faced due to this pandemic, we have not been able to fill all the senate seats,” said Lugo. “One of my biggest wishes is to see a full senate where we are all together making a change for our Panthers.”

The Senate approved the appropriation of $6,289 from the Legislative Line Item – ​​funded by the student activity and service fees – to the Panther Motorsports student organization with a unanimous vote.

Panther Motorsports will use the funds to design a racecar and participate in the Society of Automotive Engineers International (Formula SAE) student design competition. The team has won first place in the state for the past two years.

The competition is attended by teams from over 130 universities every year and will take place in Brooklyn, Michigan, from May 18 to 21.

S.B. 02 003 appropriation bill.

SGA will fund $2,024 for six airplane tickets, $2,550 for lodging registration fees and $1,714 for hotel lodging, according to the S.B. 02 003 appropriation bill.

The Senate also approved a $9,700 appropriation to the FIU Student Ambassadors “How Would You Save the World” philanthropic conference on March 19.

The funds will be used to pay guest speakers Connie Chi, executive producer of “4 Days to Save the World” reality TV show, and Sergio Delavicci, philanthropist and actor, as well as their hotel, airfare and transportation, according to the S.B. 02 006 appropriation bill.

S.B. 02 006 appropriation bill.

SGA President Alexander Rubido updated the senate on dining locations reopening on campus, such as Panera Bread and Taco Bell, and reiterated the importance of Senate attendance.

“COVID is still a thing at the university. Please continue to wear your mask,” said Rubido. “Aside from that, I’m happy to see that you’re all here…I can’t underestimate how important it is that you all continue to show up.”

Laundry Days with SGA – which provides laundry pods and dryer sheets to residential students – will be extended to the Biscayne Bay Campus (BBC). SGA will table at BBC at the housing quad Wednesday, Jan. 12, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.