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Larrazabal confirmed as Chief Justice, Robillard out as Speaker

In what must certainly be an awkward turn of events for the Fariñas Castro administration, the day of the confirmation of former Arts and Sciences Senator Sebastian Larrazabal as Chief Justice of the Student Government Council - Modesto A. Maidique Campus, was also the one where the Senator Kristen Robillard resigned as Speaker of the Senate. Larrazabal had run against Robillard for Speaker, and lost by one vote cast by the SGC-MMC Vice President Alex Castro.

As Pawlitics reported earlier, the administration successfully maneuvered with the Supreme Court requirements in order to be able to appoint Larrazabal as Chief Justice, as a sort of consolation prize for the Speaker’s race he lost, directly because of the Vice President’s vote. The former requirements had been put in place at former Chief Justice Octavio Mella’s urging, with the support of several Chief Justices from universities across the state, during one of the last meetings of last year’s Senate. 

Sources tell Pawlitics that the Senate was told Robillard stepped down due to the fact that she did not meet the requirements for the office of Senator for the College of Education, which also meant she was ineligible to become Speaker. Following her resignation, Speaker Pro Tempore and Senator At Large Giovanni Castro assumes the role of Speaker of the Senate.

All of this has happened as the Senate is in the midst of reforming the Elections Code in a series of bills pushed by Vice President Castro, as reported by FIUSM. The extent of these bills is unknown, since as of the time of publishing this post, the website of SGA only shows 3 bills, and the last minutes available are from July 23, 2012. In an email, Vice President Castro indicated that “the Executive Branch is currently searching for a Webmaster to fulfill the responsibilities needed.”

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Student Body Responds to Decision by Vice President of Student Affairs

Following the decision of Dr. Rosa Jones, FIU Vice President of Student Affairs to overrule the SGC-MMC Supreme Court in their decision to call for new elections, the response from student leaders has been constant.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was the first to release a letter, and now several students have sent letter likewise expressing their disagreement with the VPSA’s actions. 

Below is a listing of the letters sent as we receive them. We will continue to update this post with more responses as they are released.

Letter from Chief Justice Octavio Mella

Letter from Former Senator Jose Garcia

Letter from Vice President Sanjeev Udhnani and Connor Mautner

Letter from Director of Student Success Luis Masieri

Letter from CSR President William-Jose Velez

Letter from Associate Justice Mohamed Al-Darsani

Petition to Recall Elections from Senator Juanita Luis

Letter from Vice Presidential Candidate Andres Wu

Letter from Former Senator Giovanni Correale