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Grievance calls SG confirmations into question

Published: Sunday, August 22, 2010

Updated: Sunday, August 22, 2010 23:08

A little more than a month after the questionable hiring of a new Bulls Radio director, anonymous grievances were filed against several members of Student Government (SG).


A grievance filed against director Brett Farrar, student body President Cesar Hernandez and Vice President Spencer Montgomery states that they have "(broken)several statutes regardingexecutive branch confirmations on multiple occasions," amounting to a "total of 10 counts of nonfeasance based on the number of … confirmations" of the branch's employees.


According to the grievance, three statutes were violated during the confirmation of members of the executive branch — statute 306.4, which states that applicants must provide a resume, application and job description no less than five days before they are confirmed, statute 407.2, which states that all senators must be provided with a copy of the applicants resume and application, and statute 407.3, which states that they must also be provided with a description of the position for which the candidate is being confirmed.Montgomery said that he had "not physically seen the grievance" and wouldn't "comment on something (he knew) nothing about."


It also states that "the nomination (and) confirmation of Brett Farrar, a senior majoring in finance, as director of Bulls Radio should never have occurred, as (he) was not qualified as per the job description of the position for which he applied."


The grievance points out that "the most current and active job description on file for the director of Bulls Radio states … that it isnecessary that the director ‘has strong knowledge of at least a portion of all Bulls Radio's operations.'"


During his Senate confirmation, Farrar admitted having no prior experience with Bulls Radio and claimed to be a "fast learner" who would only need someone to help him understand how to operate and use the equipment.

Farrar is also a fellow Sigma Nu brother with Montgomery, who interviewed him for his position.


Justin Seow, a senior majoring in finance and civil engineering and host of the Good Morning USF radio show, said that everything about the hiring processes "seemed extremely rushed" and he "doesn't like the situation."


He said that he's worked at Bulls Radio as a volunteer for a year-and-a-half and he would like to see the station gain "more listeners and more awareness."


But, these initiatives can be difficult, he said, when station employees are self-taught.  He said that the station needs "the right, qualified person" as station manager and until that happens, Bulls Radio is "just coasting."


"It's hard to tell someone what to do when you don't know what to do," Seow said.  "Farrar hasn't even called a meeting to tell us what's going on."


Farrar said that he "hasn't heard of any grievances being filed against him" and couldn't comment about them.


Khalid Hassouneh, a member of the Senate judiciary and ethics committee, said that when a grievance is filed against SG members, they can be disciplined by either censure or impeachment.


According to SG statute 210.2, a censure "is a written reprimand" given by the Senate when they feel that the offense could have warranted impeachment but that impeachment was not necessary.


Hassouneh said that the grievance never "specifically asks" for either Hernandez or Montgomery to be impeached, leaving the outcome up to the investigations of the judiciary and ethics committee and the Senate.


Adam Oldfield, chair of the Senate judiciary and ethics committee, said the grievance was discussed at Thursday's meeting, during which the committee decided to "adopt the grievance as its own."


"The committee felt that the evidence was strong enough — even though it was filed anonymously — that the grievance could be investigated," he said.


The committee's job will now be to "collect statements from both parties, deliberate and then come up with a recommendation," which the committee will present to the Senate, Oldfield said.

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