Distinctive guests

During Monday night’s student senate meeting, senators were visited by Miriam Oliphant, former supervisor of elections for Broward County. Oliphant, who was suspended by Gov. Jeb Bush under suspicion of mishandling of funds, addressed the senators about the intricacies of state government.

The former supervisor currently has a case pending with the Florida Ethics Committee, concerning her suspension. She is currently touring throughout Florida trying to gauge support for her upcoming meeting with the committee.

The University of Florida SGA president-elect Jamal Sowel also visited the senate to discuss issues concerning minority students at his university.

Sowel spoke to the senators about the need for student leaders to create plans to benefit and promote the support of minority students in the state of Florida and throughout the nation.

“[The senate] was very impressed with Mr. Sowel,” said Senate President-elect Ramon Alexander, a business administration student from Tallahassee.

Sowel also announced that UF would rejoin the Florida Student Association. The Florida Student Association Inc. is a student issues group formed in 1976 to represent the students of the State University System of Florida. UF has been the only major university not to be a member of FSA for the past several years.

Revisiting old business, the senate voted to pass bills to for mally recognize the Gentlemen of Distinction and FAMU’s Men’s Basketball Team.

Sen. Kumasi Aaron, who proposed a resolution to highlight the team, said that the team deserves accolades because of the positive influence their performance in the NCAA tournament has had on recruitment.

“The play of the men’s team displays the talent that we do have at the University,” said Aaron, a freshmen business administration student from Sebring.

In addition to deciding to offer their recognition, the senate also passed a petition to facilitate a town hall meeting with University President Fred Gainous.

During the first reading of new bills, an initiative to establish a department for graduate affairs was proposed.

In addition, sophomore Sen. Tara Crawford, a 20-year-old Nashville, Tenn. native introduced a bill to amend the qualifications for Royal Court escorts and attendant applicants.

Currently, female members of SGA are discouraged from applying as attendants, while male members are not.

Crawford’s bill would allow for all students to be able to apply for positions on the Royal Court. She said that the practice was bias, and limits the opportunities of certain students.

“I wrote the bill in order to allow for all students to have the opportunity to serve on the Royal Court.”

Steven Jumper can be reached at jumpersoulrb@aol.com