SG senate president Nathan Davison (left) welcomes Faran Abbasi as the new student body vice president. ORACLE PHOTO/JOSE LOPEZ JR.
After serving as vice president under Frank Harrison during in the executive branch of SG last year, Faran Abbasi told senators he loved the job, but he’d never do it again.
But that was before one of the most tumultuous weeks in SG’s history ended in the resignation of former president Barclay Harless on Sept. 4.
It was also before former VP Garin Flowers, who was mentored by Abbasi as SG’s executive from old administration to new, was thrust into his current position at the helm of the executive branch.
Now Abbasi’s back.
After a round of tough questions from senators concerned about his absence from the office toward the end his previous stint as VP, Faran Abbasi, who served as VP in former president Frank Harrison’s administration, was confirmed as the new student body president at Tuesday night’s weekly senate meeting.
Twenty senators in attendance voted yes, six no and one abstained.
“To see the executive branch crumble, there was no way I could let that happen,” said Abbasi during his confirmation hearing.
The appointment of Faran, with his experience and connections within SG, should help to ease the transition for Flowers, who entered an executive branch fractured over Harless’ top-down administrative style and his handling of the University’s investigation into the alcohol found in his office during the orientation event in July.
Flowers has been busy smoothing some of the discontent within the executive since he took over.
Faran’s experience will allow him to work on other projects as he continues to work the kinks out of SG’s executive branch, Flowers said.
“If he didn’t get confirmed, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do,” Flowers said.
Most of the senator’s discussion about Abbasi revolved around his declining presence on campus and in the student government offices as his term wound down in the fall.
“The VP position was supposed to be visible last semester,” said senator Keonna Pratt. “In spring nothing happened. Visibility is my
Abbasi told senators that under Harrison there had been a strict division of duties, and toward the end of his term, Frank was tasked with a lot of the responsibilities required to run SG’s executive branch.
This time around, he said he would split more of the duties with the president.
After the meeting, Flowers said with a VP confirmed he could now focus on lobbying for students at the state level, a role new to him after spending most of his time as the former VP working on campus.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” Flowers said. “Barclay was really good at it and could fly up to Tallahassee to meet with politicians. I don’t have his connections, but now I can really focus on what he did.”
The executive’s ability to manage their responsibilities as advocates for students in state politics was one of the concerns raised by Senate Rules Chair Keenan Arodack.
“(If Faran is elected) we will have two members of SG very social in nature,” said Arodack. “We need someone on state level who’s dealt with those politics. This is tumultuous time in state history, with budget cuts and other challenges, and we have two people with no experience on the state level.”
After Abbasi fielded their questions, senators discussed his answers among themselves before casting their votes.
“I heard a lot of you grilling this guy, but do you have a better candidate,” said senator Alyson Kendrick.
Senate Pro-tempore said visibility on campus or in the office wasn’t synonymous with successfully working for student
“I worked for SG from home for a while,” Randazzo said. “No one nailed me to the wall.”
After the meeting Senate President Nathan Davison, said he had concerns about Faran’s ability to do the job, but they were wiped away by Faran’s answers to senator’s questions.
“I’m glad he’s in the position,” Davison said. “We don’t have to worry about the learning curve. We just don’t have time for that anymore this semester.”