Patricia Green-Powell, vice president of Student Affairs, ruled in favor of the appeal filed by Larry O. Rivers and Virgil Miller, appointing them as SGA president and vice president Thursday afternoon.
The candidates primary concern is how the decision was made. “The administration is playing a political game,” said presidential candidate Travis A. Williams.
“Moves like this let the administration pick who they want.”Vice presidential candidate Aziza Bowser felt that the decision was unfound.
“She made the decision based on reasons that had no logistics,” said Bowser.”This is redundant and it’s getting ridiculous.”
According to a statement issued Thursday afternoon by Greene-Powell, Florida Statutes 1000.74 (10) proves that any decision made by student government is to be approved by the Board of Trustees.
Greene-Powell’s statement did not emphasize any interpretations of this ruling. Although interpretation 7 states “the student government is now the final arbiter in election contest dates,” the rule was only held valid until January 7, 2003 wherein “the internal procedures are subject to approval of the university president.”
Student government has the final say in election cases, but if the candidate’s rights have been violated or the student supreme court ruling has been deemed unfair, university administration has jurisdiction to intervene.
Williams and Bowser complained about the decision, saying that they weren’t notified until Rivers and Miller had already been named in their positions.
“The administration claimed that an investigation was made; neither one of us received a phone call or was personally contacted,” Williams said.”How can you make a decision without hearing both sides?”
Williams said that if the administration is allowed to make this decision, then they are also entitled to control activities and service funds, programs, and SGA meetings.
“This is a threat to justice everywhere,” Williams said.Rivers is elated.
“I’m grateful.” Rivers said. “This is a great day for justice on this campus.”
Rivers feels that the voting rights of the students have now been restored, and that their voices have been upheld.
“The student body should have the final say,” Rivers said.”Now it’s time to unify the students.”
Williams and Bowser plan to seek professional legal counsel concerning this matter.
“The appeal was not our fight in the beginning, but now it is our fight,” Bowser said.
“The longer that this situation is prolonged, the more it’s going to hinder the student body.”
Aricka M. Foreman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.