UCF SGA Senate Meeting, Jan. 25, 2018. Photo by Daniel Ceruti.

UCF SGA president files, retracts official complaint after accused of election influencing; election bills on hold

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During the open forum portion of Thursday’s UCF SGA Senate meeting, Sen. Antione Fields accused Student Body President Nick Larkins of practicing “petty politics” and purposely prolonging the veto of two bills to influence the election.

Fields, vice chair of the Elections and Appointments Committee, submitted two bills, Bill 50-27 and Bill 50-35, last November that would require SGA candidates to submit expense reports.

They would create more transparency and fairness throughout the election process, Fields said.

Larkins vetoed the bills when they were voted to pass in November on their second reading.

However, the vetoes were overturned by the senate at last week’s SGA Senate meeting, both with a vote of 50-1-0.

But Larkins found the vetoes were not properly overturned.

It’s unclear what Larkins found to be improper.

Larkins said he then filed a censure, or public condemnation, stating Speaker of the Senate Joshua Boloña “either knowingly mislead the senate on how to overturn a veto, or he is severely misinformed on the proper protocol.”

The Focus is working to obtain a copy of the censure.

Fields said Larkins filled the censure to prevent the bills from impacting the upcoming election.

“Aside from you [Larkins] purposely playing the system and waiting to veto my bill in order to stop them from affecting the current election cycle, an election in which your constituents plan on running in, you then filed a censure against our own speaker, Joshua Boloña,” Fields said.

But Larkins blamed the time frame.

“This was done on Nov. 16 … You could’ve gotten it to me in December but you got it to me on Jan. 12, 10 days before any potential presidential candidate could pick up petitions,” Larkins said at Thursday’s meeting. “You gave me a 10-day window to review a bill and then ultimately gave yourselves only a few days window to potentially overturn it.”  

Larkins said he vetoed the bills because corresponding violations, such as consequences for not submitting financial reports, weren’t laid out correctly.

“… The way that you had it written before, you gave only one hour for a candidate to potentially public records request another candidate’s expense statement, receive that public records request, review it, write the affidavit, go get it notarized and turn it back in to the supervisor of elections in 59 minutes and 59 seconds,” Larkins said.

College of Sciences Sen. Sharon Behar then asked Larkins to explain his censure of Boloña. Larkins said he would not comment until the Legislative, Judicial, and Rules (LJR) Committee meeting later this week.

But Larkin rescinded the censure by email on Friday, according to email records obtained by the Focus. This change was made “following his [Boloña’s] admission of wrongdoing both in my office and during his remarks last night at Senate,” the email stated.

Regardless, Fields said both bills are on hold.

IN OTHER NEWS:

  • Block tuition is being discussed again, Larkins said. Block tuition is a flat rate tuition for a range of credit hours.
  • Four bills passed the third reading, allocating about $20,000 to Registered Student Organizations (RSOs).
  • Five bills passed the second reading, allocating more than $21,000 to RSOs.
  • Three resolutions passed their third reading. Another three resolutions passed their second reading, along with a constitutional amendment that simplifies the overall vocabulary of the Student Body Constitution.
  • Ryan Doran was appointed to Senate Seat 5 for the College of Health and Public Affairs. Lauren Phillips was appointed to Deputy Pro Tempore of Senate Operations.