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University FAU’s student magazine



SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 | VOL. 14 #5

Here we go again After a 31-17 loss to Middle Tennessee State, FAU football is in for a repeat season few can bare By Rolando Rosa PG. 18



Sept 11, 2012

Blue Martini INSISTS you drink responsibly

The Staff


September 11, 2012

Read us - Like us - Follow us - @upressonline


4. 6.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF - Ryan Cortes MANAGING EDITOR - Regina Kaza ART DIRECTOR - Phaedra Blaize

FAU students on the Harbor Branch campus rescued shortfinned pilot whales last week. by Christine Capozziello One resident student was sent to the hospital, two more were caught smoking weed — check out this week’s police blotter. by Monica Ruiz



BUSINESS MANAGER - James Shackelford WEB EDITOR - Andrew Alvino COPY DESK CHIEF - Michael Chandeck NEWS EDITOR - Dylan Bouscher

FAU students walk, bike and skate while texting and this year’s Safety Month is trying to stop it. By Regina Kaza

SPORTS EDITOR - Rolando Rosa


Meet FAU’s men’s soccer team, a young squad with 11 combined freshman and sophomores. By Cyrus Smith

16. 22.

Capturing last Tuesday’s lightning storm at FAU. By Melissa Landolfa


An exclusive Q&A with the men’s soccer coach Kos Donev in his 25th season coaching at FAU. By Cyrus Smith Administrators in Student Government made last minute changes to the constitution, but students ignored them. By Dylan bouscher

PHOTO EDITOR - Michelle Friswell CRIME EDITOR- Monica Ruiz SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER - Christine Capozziello COPY EDITOR- Jessica Cohn-Kleinberg, Amanda Rubio GRAPHIC DESIGNER - Chase Kennedy STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Melissa Landolfa, Lamise Mansur, Ryan Murphy CONTRIBUTORS Emily Mitchell-Cetti, Brianna Dodson, Ryan Cruz, Emily Galea, Malika Prisajon ADVISERS Dan Sweeney Michael Koretzky COVER



Photo courtesy of Ralph Notaro

777 Glades Road Student Union, Room 214 Boca Raton, FL 33431 561.297.2960

Dirty Dozen

Photo courtesy of Ralph Notaro

FAU quarterback Graham Wilbert’s started 12 games in two years — and won once. Why it’ll be another long football season. By Rolando Rosa



Contact Marc Litt 732.991.6353

email Staff meetings every Friday, 2:30 p.m. in the Student Union, Room 214

PUBLISHER FAU Student Government The opinions expressed by the UP are not necessarily those of the student body, Student Government or FAU.

Sept. 11, 2012



harbor branch heroes Written by Christine Capozziello Photos courtesy of Media Relations Senior photographer


n the morning of Sept. 1, a pod of 22 short-finned pilot whales became stranded on the shores of Avalon State Park beach. Rescuers were able to save five whales, transporting them to Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute where they received constant care from the Marine Mammal Research and Conservation’s staff and volunteers, including FAU students. The whales have since been transported to SeaWorld in Orlando for further rehabilitation. Since it started in 1998, Harbor Branch’s Marine Mammal Research and Conservation (MMRC) rescue program has responded to over 240 stranding reports along Florida’s East Coast. The program, operating with the help of experienced volunteers and staff, also lets FAU students get involved. Postgraduate students are given the unique opportunity to receive hands-on training in marine mammal rehabilitation, medical treatment and rescue.


Sept 11, 2012

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AU police was dispatched to the Innovation Village Apartments at approximately 11:42 a.m. in response to the smell of marijuana. When police arrived at the dorm, no one answered the door. Police came back to the same dorm at 8:16 p.m. because another complaint of marijuana smell was reported. But again, no one answered the door. According to police reports, around 8:35 p.m. police knocked on the door until the resident of the room answered. He and another male, who was originally trespassed from FAU meaning he wasn’t allowed to be on campus, answered the door. The responding officer explained that they received a complaint from the resident assistant (RA) twice that day for an odor of marijuana. The resident of the room gave consent for the officer to search his apartment. During the search, the officer found a metal pipe. The resident and guest admitted to smoking in the dorms. The resident student was given a student referral, and the trespassed guest was escorted off campus.

When: Aug. 18, 2012 — 10:35 p.m. Location: Heritage Park Towers (HPT)


olice were called in response to a smell of marijuana. When police arrived, four people were in the dorm room, and the officer could smell marijuana coming from the room. The students were interviewed by police and admitted to underage drinking and smoking. The resident assistant who was there with the officer found five bottles of Bud Light, a glass pipe, a crusher used for marijuana, a cylinder container containing 1 gram of marijuana, and a jewelry box. The students were given a referral to the dean’s office.

When: Aug. 18, 2012 — 11:12 p.m. Location: Glades Park Towers (GPT)


olice were called to GPT because a student was throwing up outside. When police found him, he was sitting down with his head leaning on a table. The responding officer could smell alcohol reeking off his body. While the officer was trying to talk to him, he realized he was incoherent and drunk. The student admitted he was drinking earlier, then continued to vomit on the floor. The student was Marchman Acted, meaning he was in need of substance abuse assistance. He was transferred to Boca Raton Regional Hospital and was given a student referral.

All information is taken from the police reports provided by FAUPD. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Page designed by Phaedra Blaize

Sept. 11, 2012



SAFETY FIRST: By Regina Kaza Managing editor Photos by Ryan Murphy Staff photographer

“We had a bicyclist over on Dade Ave. by Algonquin that literally rode his bike into the side of a car full speed and he went over the hood of the car.” — Police Chief Charles Lowe


AU thinks students don’t know how to ride their bikes and walk safely on campus. And, it turns out, they don’t. In a half hour on the Breezeway, the UP counted nearly 100 students walking and texting or talking on the phone, last Wednesday. Last Tuesday, a biker rode right past a stop sign during the annual Boca Safety Walk. “They're supposed to follow the rules of the road like everyone else,” Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Director Tom Bradley said when he saw it. So this year’s sixth annual Safety Month theme is "Look up, look down, look all around," with a focus on pedestrian and bike safety. “It's early in the semester and gives us an opportunity to get that information out," police Chief Charles Lowe said. This month, FAU is putting on events, like the Safety Walk on the Boca and Jupiter campuses, and holding a safety video contest where students can win a $200 GoPro camera, donated by Force-E Scuba Center. EH&S recorded a show on Owl Radio that will blare warnings over their speakers to bike riders and skateboarders in the Breezeway all month long. Students talking on the phone and texting in the Breezeway have also become a major safety issue, according to Lowe. "We've seen people on bicycles doing it, we've seen people on scooters doing it,” he said. “The fact of the matter is, if you're looking down and you're paying attention to what you're texting, you're not paying attention to what is going on around you." Patricia Gomez, a sophomore pre-nursing major, says she texts on the Breezeway all the time. “It’s bad, but I do it to avoid eye contact,” she says. “I always run into people, so I should probably stop doing that.” Bradley says texting and walking isn’t advertised as much as texting and driving, because it’s not as dangerous. “Texting and walking, biking and skateboarding haven't been talked about,” he says. “People can't die from it, but serious injuries can happen.” Mary Ann Pertierra, a mathematics doctorate student, thinks texting and walking is OK as long as you’re paying attention. “I think it’s fine if you text in the Breezeway,” she says. “Just look up every once in awhile and know

continued on page 10


Sept 11, 2012

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Keeping students safe from texting while walking and riding

“Look up, look down, look all around” is this year’s Safety Month theme. All September long, students can visit events about bike and pedestrian safety on each FAU campus. Photo illustration

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98 Jed Cox, a political science freshman, juggles his phone and dinner while he heads towards the dorms.

Pedestrian accidents this year: 8


pedestrian accidents


of them with injuries this year

bike accidents


injuries this year

Source: Police Chief Charles Lowe


Sept 11, 2012

what’s around you.” This year there have been 14 pedestrian and bike accidents on the Boca campus, and two of them were this semester, according to Lowe. He says seeing students crossing the street and getting hit by a car is not unusual. “We had a bicyclist over on Dade Ave. by Algonquin that literally rode his bike into the side of a car full speed and he went over the hood of the car,” he says. FAU had camera footage of the accident that showed the car come to a complete stop and the biker hit the side of the window without slowing down. "He ran right into the side of him,” Lowe says. “It wasn't very good." Bradley also hopes to remind students about the Breezeway bike ban this month. Student Government and Student Affairs tried to help keep students from riding their bikes and skateboards through the Breezeway in the past, but students still do it. "There's signs posted, but no one

Students walking and talking on the phone in 30 minutes in the Breezeway

reads signs," Bradley says. "They just become part of the background." He says budget cuts are part of the problem. There's not enough staff to enforce the rules, so the theme is a way to get the word out. "You almost have to be out there all day long because it's a frequent occurrence,” Lowe says. “If three people go by and no one challenges them, then the other five or ten that are carrying their skateboards put them down and take off too." Besides stopping to talk on the phone or send a text, students should make sure a vehicle sees them when they’re crossing the street. “So make sure that that vehicle sees you before you walk out in front of it,” Lowe says. “And I know that sounds like a simple thing to say, but it really is true. Be aware of your surroundings and don't count on people to do the right thing.” Visit for more information on Safety Month and a list of events.

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Men’s soccer team looks to have bounceback year after losing record last season

t a mid-week practice last week, the Owls men’s soccer squad appeared relaxed and confident, despite finishing last season with a 5-8-2 record. Dressed in red shirts, some players are joking and playing monkey in the middle with the guys in the middle having to kick the ball in order to get themselves out. Others make small talk as they wait for head coach Kos Donev to get them in position for practice drills. With 11 freshmen and sophomores on the 25 player roster, the Owls are still green but aiming for a major turnaround. “Not making the conference tournament hurt,” sophomore midfielder Deniz Bozkart said. “But the goal this year is to make the conference tournament and make a presence in the NCAA tournament.” The team believes last year there were many untimely bounces that didn’t go their way. “Soccer is a weird game sometimes,” Donev said. “Last year we dominated games in the statistics and even outplayed teams, but still did not come with the win.”

Twelve of the Owls 15 games last season were decided by two goals or less. The Owls are 1-3, as of press time, on the year so far. Bozkart, who plays for the Puerto Rico national team in the offseason with fellow sophomore Gabriel Rafols, has already seen strides made this season. “The team is looking good,” Bozkart said. “We’re playing very well together and have been moving the ball a lot more gameby-game.” In comparison to FAU’s other sports who play in the Sun Belt Conference, the men’s and women’s soccer teams both play in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The conference recently added former Big East member West Virginia. The Owls were picked to finish last in the conference, but Donev is anticipating a much better season in 2012. “This year, though, we are playing more together as a team and are focusing on being on the same page,” Donev said. “If we do these things we will definitely progress better as the year moves forward.”

The UP gets you acquainted with some of the key players this season: Junior Midfielder 5’10 165 pounds Hometown: Orlando, Fla.

Sophomore Midfielder 5’7 155 pounds Hometown: Niteroi, Brazil

Stats 2011: Started 12 games 2012: Started every game 2 Shots

Stats 2011: 7 shots 2012: 1 goal 4 shots 2 points

Memories about childhood: “Growing up overseas in Saudi Arabia, compared to America, the lifestyles were very different.”

Sean Grossman

Favorite food: “I really like Mexican food. I just enjoy the spices and flavors.”

Favorite movie of all-time: “I have to go with 300.” Most important thing to you as a child: “Most important thing was just staying close to God.”

Daniel Mendes continued on page 14


Sept 11, 2012

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Sophomore Midfielder 5’10 145 pounds Hometown: Plantation, Fla.

Senior Defender 6’1 280 pounds Hometown: Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Stats 2011: 13 shots (Second on team) 2012: 6 shots (Second on team) 1 GW (game winning) goal 4 points

Stats 2011: Started 10 games 2012: 2 shots (Fifth on team)

Favorite TV show: “Big Bang Theory.”

First CD: “Bob Marley Greatest Hits. By far greatest CD of all time.”

First CD: “My first CD was ‘N SYNC. I got it when I was like 5 years old or maybe even younger.”

Favorite TV show growing up: “It would have to be Premier League TV Show. I watched it with my dad all the time.”

Tyler McNabb

Deniz Bozkurt

Senior Midfielder 6’1 165 pounds Hometown: Boca Raton, Fla.

Senior Defender 6’0 180 pounds Hometown: Boca Raton, Fla.

Stats 2011: Redshirted 2012: Started every game 1 shot

Stats 2011: Started every game 2012: 1 assist 1 goal

First CD: “Back in Black by AC/DC.” Favorite food: “I really love seafood, so it is probably lobster.”

Vincent Dibullo 14

Sept 11, 2012

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An ominous arcus cloud approaches over FAU on Tuesday evening, Sept. 4. This type of cloud formation may bring severe thunderstorms and students should take caution for their safety from similar storm clouds. Photo by Melissa Landolfa


Sept 11, 2012

Sept. 11, 2012



Dirty dozen 12 starts in, Graham Wilbert still can’t put together back-to-back wins. FAU quarterback Graham Wilbert (pictured at the MTSU game on Saturday, Sept. 8) completed his first 11 passes, breaking the team record of 10 set by Rusty Smith in 2007. Wilbert is 1-11 as a starter in his college career. Photo courtesy of Ralph Notaro

By Rolando Rosa Sports Editor


t’s too bad junior transfer quarterback M e l v i n German is ineligible this season, because MGIII’s bandwagon is about to gain a ton of passengers. Two games in, the Owls’ offense has scored three touchdowns, all coming in the fourth quarter. The lack of offensive production is staggering. Head coach Carl Pelini needs to pull a Houdini and hypnotize the Owls into believing every quarter is the fourth, because that’s the only time the offense delivers any excitement. The Owls (1-1) lost 31-17 on the road to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in its Sun Belt Conference opener. By the end of three quarters, FAU was trailing 243. Pelini’s assessment of his team after two games was sharper than anything witnessed on the field so far in 2012. “Where we are right now as a football program, we’ve just got to keep studying the film, trying to get better,” Pelini said. “Finding the guys that we could put out there that are going to compete. We’re just not a very good football team right now.”


Sept 11, 2012

Graham Wilbert got the nod against Middle Tennessee and put on his best Logan Kilgore (who completed 18 straight passes in MTSU’s win last season) impersonation, completing his first 11 passes, an FAU record. By his standards, it was a career day. By the scoreboard, it was more of the same for Wilbert — another loss. “Graham would be the first one to tell you, it wasn’t well enough to win,” Owls offensive coordinator Brian Wright said. “So, first and foremost, we’ve got to find ways to get better at the quarterback position and all the positions right now on offense. Come out and execute better and have a better performance than that.” This was the perfect example of how numbers can lie. Wilbert had 260 yards. But he racked up his pair of TDs in garbage time, one to budding target Byron Hankerson, the other to running back Damian Fortner. “We talked about finishing and winning the fourth quarter battle,” Wright said. “But it’s no different than in the first half. We tried to throw the football in the first half as well. We didn’t execute well enough in the first half on some of the throws.” The Owls need to bring more energy to the first half of games if they’re going to win a

Page designed by Phaedra Blaize

game against a Division I team this year. The defense allowed just 10 points in the season’s first six quarters before imploding in the second half against Middle Tennessee. “A lack of execution on offense in the first half. Our defense battled back a little bit, got some turnovers,” Pelini said. “But it’s easy to execute when the pressure’s off. Once we got down by 21, everyone’s loose. A hard thing for a young program is to execute when it’s still a close ballgame.” Wright said afterwards that his methodical play calling was actually intended to build Wilbert’s confidence. I’m sorry, but Wilbert is a fifth-year senior, and if he doesn’t already have confidence, he’s not getting it now. He has the size (6’6, 225 pounds) and the arm strength to dominate, which is why his struggles are so baffling. Wilbert has shown flashes of greatness, but he’s started a dozen games in two seasons and has only won once. Once. Yes, there were dropped passes in the game, but a quarterback completing a ton of throws and not scoring points until the game is out of reach doesn’t impress me. To at least remain competitive this season, the offense needs to put more points on the

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Sept 11, 2012

board, preferably in the first half. Here’s a bold move for coach Pelini — since the Owls are going to get blown out next week anyway — either start airing it out deep with Wilbert or turn to third stringer Nick Bracewell at seventh-ranked Georgia. No more of this bland vanilla offense that doesn’t take shots down the field. The first half of the Sun Belt opener between FAU and Middle Tennessee resembled a Division I-AA game, but the Owls’ defense kept the score close before burning out after halftime. The two worst Sun Belt squads in last season played Division I-AA teams in week one — FAU squeaked out a victory over Wagner and Middle Tennessee fell to McNeese State. Instead of using the games as a wake up call, both teams set out in the first half to actually make the case to be demoted down a division. MTSU took a 7-0 lead into the half, as FAU was shut out for the second straight game at halftime. Only an opportunistic bend-but-don’t-break defense saved the Owls from a larger deficit. On the Blue Raiders’ first two drives of the game, they reached the red zone before coughing up the ball to FAU’s senior tandem of Jimmy Jean and David Hinds. Middle Tennessee reached into FAU territory on its first three drives but only came away with a TD on a 38-yard pass from Kilgore. The stats will show the Owls gave up four touchdowns, but the boxscore won’t capture the frustration the defense must be feeling towards their offensive counterparts. I guarantee if the Owls scored any points in the first half of contests, the defense would be more refreshed and motivated to finish out games. It took a 39-yard field goal by Vinnie Zaccario in the third for the Owls to score its first points against the Blue Raiders. Pelini said in training camp there would be as many as five running backs used. With that said, it’s never a good sign when Wilbert is your third leading rusher with 19 yards, 18 on one run. “Wilbert does not make a living with his legs,” the Middle Tennessee announcer deadpanned. This was a prime opportunity to capture the first two-game winning streak in three years. Instead, it’s off to get smashed backto-back weeks on the road at Georgia and at defending national champion Alabama. Unless you enjoy horror movies, I’d advise other programming the next two Saturdays.

Despite FAU outgaining Middle Tennessee in the air, they fell to the Blue Raiders for the fifth straight time. Owls wide receiver Byron Hankerson, who scored in the fourth quarter, has two of the team’s three touchdowns this season. Photos courtesy of Drew Gardonia from MTSU Sidelines

The Owls trio of running backs, including Travis Jones (pictured), gained 65 yards in the 31-14 loss to the Blue Raiders.

FAU punt returner Keith Reaser had -10 yards on two returns. For the season the Owls are averaging 3.2 yards on punt returns.

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The soccer sensei


15 questions with long-time FAU men’s soccer coach Kos Donev

By Cyrus Smith contributor

The UP caught up with FAU men’s soccer head coach Kos Donev, who is in his 25th season in charge of the program, to get his thoughts on his personal life, soccer career and how the school has changed since he was a student. Q: What was life like growing up in Macedonia? A: At the time it was the Republic of Macedonia and was part of Yugoslavia. It was definitely different than a kid growing up in this country, even back in those days. Majority of the people don’t have the necessities, luxuries and conveniences that you have in this country. From television to radio, a lot of places don’t have that. We primarily grew up in villages or farms. It was a basic lifestyle, but it was fun. If we weren’t doing school work or chores, we were playing soccer.

Q: Was is difficult to balance school and playing for the soccer team? A: I had my focus on soccer to try and get to the next level. So it wasn’t that it was difficult, it’s just my focus was primarily on soccer and not school.

Q: How was your time as a player at South Plantation High School? A: My brother [Miljce Donev] is actually credited as starting the boys soccer program there, as they didn’t have one. But he kicked for the football team and one day in PE he was kicking a soccer ball and one of the coaches on the team decided to start a men’s soccer team. High school soccer was not that well developed as sometimes only one other player really knew how to play. But it was definitely the most enjoyable time I had as an athlete just because the friends you made and how students looked at you.

Q: You graduated from FAU in the class of ‘87. What was your major? A: I graduated at the College of Business in marketing.

Q: What made you want to come to play at FAU? A: At the time, freshmen were not necessarily accepted at FAU. It was only made up of graduate students and upperclassmen. Only a few hundred students were freshmen, so I started my collegiate career at Flagler University. I transferred back to FAU when I was a junior though, to be close to family. Photo courtesy of Media Relations.


Sept 11, 2012

Page designed by Chase Kennedy

continued on page 24

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Q: What are your best memories playing for FAU? A: Anytime you play in college, regardless of what the outcome of the game or season is, the best memories always will be the time you had with your friends and the camaraderie you have with your team. Players that I played with I still keep in contact, and nowadays their kids are being recruited by me.

Q: How different is soccer in America compared to Europe? A: In Europe, the game is more skilled and more tactically played from an awareness standpoint. One of the main differences here is that in the youth level, America is focused on trophies, whereas in Europe they are more focused on the development of players. Also, the players in Europe are more exposed to the game at an early age. To give perspective, when you go to hospitals in Argentina, even when they’re born they have soccer jerseys draped on the hospital door to signify what team their family roots for. Soccer is very serious over there.

Q: When did you realize you wanted to become a head coach? A: It’s not that I realized it. Like everyone else, I wanted to play at the next level. I was playing at the amateur level here and one day they came to me and asked if I wanted to become a player coach. But once I started I got hooked on it. When head coach Christopher Holloway at FAU resigned, I was asked at the age of 24 to become the interim head coach and ever since then I been here.

FAU men’s soccer defender Timothy Merrigan has one assist, one point, and one shot so far this season. Photo by Christine Capozziello.

Q: Could you discuss the role in getting the two fields that were added in 1996 and 1999 where the men’s and women’s team currently play?

Q: Did you learn anything from your previous A: After we declared the soccer field was not playable I asked the city of Boca Raton to help, financially, get a new field. The city didn’t want head coaches as a player? A: Absolutely! I looked back at what did my coaches do in trainings and what could I use in my trainings. I always thought: “What did they talk about? What did they emphasize on? How did they get players to become a team player?”

Q: What was campus life like back in the ‘80s when you were roaming the campus? A: First, it was about 50 percent smaller than this. The dorms you see where Indian River Towers and Glades Towers are currently at were all like Algonquin. Very small dorms with about a few thousand people living on campus. The development of the university since then has been tremendous.

Q: Favorite memories as the FAU head coach? A: Whenever you have a winning season or get a conference championship, it’s always a great memory. Beating Duke and FIU when they were considered soccer powers was also great, but its the playercoach relationships that I’ve built that are fondest.


Sept 11, 2012

to help, so I asked then Athletic Director Jack Mehl who was able to help. Those two fields actually hosted the first ever MLS [Major League Soccer] combine. I also took part in the architecture of the field which is why it always drains well whenever it starts to rain.

Q: How pivotal was it for FAU to become a Division I-A program? A: The decision was made by the president and AD. It was one of those moves where, since everyone was doing it, why not us? FIU also just made the leap so we may have felt some internal pressure to do so. Financially, I didn’t think we were ready, but it definitely improved the perception of the school and thus recruiting was easier.

Q: Have you ever considered taking another job and moving on? A: There has been thought and consideration into moving, but establishing myself in soccer with this community in south Florida helped me stay here. In order for me to move, it would have to be an extraordinary opportunity. Besides, each and every year FAU has made progress which is one reason why I stayed. The future is bright and with the new AD [Patrick Chun] on board, I feel very comfortable with the foundation of this school into taking the next step.

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We the students


Student Affairs administrators tried making last minute amendments to student government’s constitution but sg leaders ignored them

U asked for it and now U have it... A SITE FOR U Campus events, resources, discounts and anything else U need.

By Dylan Bouscher


News editor AU students are paying $10.8 million to Student Government (SG) this year — but the person with final say on how that money is spent isn’t a student. He’s the university’s vice president of student affairs (VPSA), Charles Brown, and he must approve spending by any SG organization. That includes any bills passed by the campus Houses of Representatives and Senate, but not SG’s constitution. The one thing the VPSA can’t approve or review, according to university regulation 4.006, is SG’s constitution. Yet back in 2010, Brown tried to make changes to the constitutional amendments, according to former SG President Ayden Maher and former Boca House Speaker Boris Bastidas. And — once again — this year, Associate Dean of Students Terry Mena, who represents Brown in SG, tried to make last minute changes to the amendments, according to Student Body President Robert Huffman. Students vote on the amendments in the fall elections Sept. 11 and 12, and as of press time, they’ve never seen the final amendments. That’s against the rules. And that’s just the start.

Constitution schmonstitution Over the summer, a group of 20 students and administrators (including Mena) updated SG’s constitution with amendments they voted on and approved. The group was known as the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC). The most important amendments included changing the way SG presidential elections are held and raising the minimum GPA requirement to 2.7 from 2.5 for SG leaders like campus governors, house speakers and the president and vice president.

Repeating History

Back in 2010, the CRC also met to amend the SG presidential election process to remove the runoff race — that’s when the top two candidates have to run in a second election. But the amendments were never ratified by the university’s board of trustees (BOT), FAU’s 13 highest ranking officials who have final say on CRC revisions.

“There were some disagreements about the amendments made,” Mena told the Boca House at a meeting last April. Mena represented the dean of students, Corey King (who reports to Brown), at this year’s CRC meetings. Because the 2010 CRC amendments were never sent to the BOT for approval, because of Brown’s disagreement with them, the CRC had to meet again this summer. Back then, Brown had his own problem with the amendment.

Continued on page 28


Sept 11, 2012

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How It Works

Before Student Government’s constitution can be amended, a few steps must be taken by SG’s leaders. Here is a stepby-step breakdown of the amendment process.

Other universities using instant runoff voting around the nation include:

- The SG president convenes the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), a group of 20+ students and administrators who suggest constitutional amendments. - The CRC proposes amendments and votes to approve them. - The CRC chair submits the final amendments to the Elections Board chair for the student body to vote on them in the next election. - The student body votes to approve the amendments. - If approved by the student body, the amendments are on the agenda of the next board of trustees meeting for the trustees’ to ratify with a majority vote. - The ratified amendments are added to the constitution.

“I believe Dr. Brown was uncomfortable with the instant runoff,” Huffman said. Huffman’s referring to the new SG presidential election system, which replaces the current system of majority vote with a ballot where students rank the candidates from the one they want to win the most, to the one they want to win the least. “It’s an option that can work,” Mena said. “There’s several procedural processes that still have to be answered.” The instant runoff was an amendment proposed at the very last CRC meeting, with half the commission committee skeptical at first, but they still approved it by the end of the meeting. Mena, who represented Brown at the meeting, did not say anything about the instant runoff at the CRC meeting. “The senior VP and members have expressed the challenges around the current runoff,” Mena said. “So yes, but it’s not just the opinion of [Brown], it’s the opinion of many students.” This would eliminate the ongoing problem of runoff elections whenever there are more than two candidates running for president, since candidates rarely gain a majority in a three-way race, which happened in the 2011 and 2010 presidential elections. Brown has the power to review all SG documents before they’re approved — except the constitution.


Sept 11, 2012


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“When I heard Dr. Brown had recommended changes, he was breaking policy,” CRC Chair Patricio Coicou said. But when the CRC met, Brown sent Mena there to represent him, and Mena didn’t make any changes to the amendments. Mena would not confirm whether or not he asked Huffman to call another CRC meeting to remove the instant runoff. Coicou and Huffman both said Mena pushed them to call another CRC meeting to make last minute changes to the amendments, which he could have made during the original CRC meeting. Now Brown is out for the next six weeks on personal leave. And Corey King, the interim VPSA and dean of students, would not confirm why Brown was out, or Mena’s insistence is a why Mena was trying to make last minute changes violation of regulation on Brown’s behalf. Huffman said Brown was out 4.006, which states for a knee surgery. the VPSA may not “I’ve heard he’s recovering now and doing review constitutional physical rehabilitation,” Huffman said. amendments before Mena refused to confirm Brown’s knee surgery as the reason why the VPSA is out. they’re sent to the King has been on the job for “just a couple of board of trustees. days,” but Mena updates him on SG daily. Mena said he updates King weekly. Despite this, King denied knowing anything about the CRC. King said he was “not familiar with the whole process,” despite sending Mena to the CRC. King also gave no comment on whether or not he agreed with the current amendments, or whether the VPSA has to review the amendments. Mena did say, however, King and Brown agree with the current amendments. So once the CRC approves the amendments, and the student body votes to approve them as well, the amendments are supposed to go straight to the BOT for approval. And since the BOT did not send anyone to the CRC meetings, there were no representatives on their behalf. King did, however, send Mena on behalf of Student Affairs to suggest changes. Mena did not propose any amendments, or vote to approve any during the meeting. In fact, Mena sometimes walked out of the CRC meetings and kept quietly distracted with other work. So Huffman decided not to call another CRC meeting and submit the original amendments approved for the student body to vote on them instead. “Just because Mena can make notes doesn’t mean they’re going to be considered by the committee,” Huffman said. But Huffman is less skeptical of administration than past SG leaders. “I’m not worried about that,” Huffman said. “I’m more focused on getting things done than the drama behind it.”

Murky transparency

Illustration by Emily Galea

The finalized amendments are supposed to be available five business days before the vote so students can cast informed votes — which they weren’t. The only amendments on SG’s website are tucked away in a “Constitution Revision” tab, but they’re not the final amendments voted and approved by the CRC, they’re an earlier version of the proposed amendments that were not voted on. “To be honest, we should have sent the amendments to everyone,” Huffman said. Since the CRC met this summer and approved their amendments, students will be able to vote on them in the upcoming fall elections, taking place Sept. 11 and 12 online at www. and certain voting stations on the Boca, Jupiter and Davie campuses. Now, the only time students will be able to view the final amendments is while they’re voting to approve them or not. “Was it tough?” Huffman asked of his decision to submit the original amendments. “Not really. The students voted on it a certain way and I stand behind my students.”

Continued on page 30

Sept. 11, 2012


Continued from page 29

How SG leaders and administrators violated constitutional policy Student Government leaders also violated constitutional policy. Article VII, Section 4. reads: “All approved proposed amendments shall be disseminated through all FAU media agencies and made accessible to the Student Body no less than five (5) business days before the Student Body vote.” As of press time, the student media outlets were emailed the final amendments Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 5:20 p.m., leaving four business days until the elections begin on Sept. 11. The rest of the student body has yet to see the final amendments.

How administrators violated university policy

Associate Dean of Students Terry Mena stayed distracted on his phone during a student court hearing where the court decided to approve the final CRC amendments. Photo by Dylan Bouscher

“Student Government may adopt internal procedures, including but not limited to a constitution, statutes, and other legislative acts,” the policy reads. “All Student Government internal procedures are subject to the approval of the University Board of Trustees or its designee prior to implementation.” But the policy goes on to exclude the constitution from Brown’s review or approval. “All other Student Government Internal Procedures are subject to approval by the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs on behalf of the University President and University Board of Trustees,” the policy reads. CRC Chair Patricio Coicou and Student Body President Robert Huffman both said Associate Dean of Students Terry Mena pushed Huffman to call another CRC meeting to make last minute changes. This is a violation of regulation 4.006.


Sept 11, 2012

- When Student Government wanted to amend its constitution, a group of students and administrators known as the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) met to approve amendments. - Once the CRC approves the amendments, the student body votes on them. - Once the student body approves the amendments, it goes to the board of trustees for approval. - Nowhere in between the CRC’s approval and the student body vote can the vice president of student affairs come in and suggest changes, according to university regulation 4.006.

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Sept. 11, 2012



University Press Volume 14 Issue 5

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