New USF Student Government VP looks to move past controversy

By: Eric Moeller

TAMPA – The University of South Florida Student Government took another step toward moving past recent controversial events Monday, confirming Faran Abbasi as its new vice president.

A new vice president became necessary after former VP Garin Flowers was promoted following ex-president Barclay Harless’ September 10 resignation in the wake of accusations involving alcohol found in his office during a freshman orientation event this summer.

The primary reason for Abbasi’s nomination was because of his experience in Student Government, having served as vice president under Frank Harrison last year.

Abbasi was confirmed by a vote of 20 to 6 and the senators that voted against him made sure to voice their opinions on why he should not be appointed. Reasons ranged from his lack of presence on the USF campus during his term last year to the theory that his nomination was the result of favoritism.

“The vice president position was supposed to be visible last semester,” Senator Keonna Pratt said. “In spring nothing happened. I was very disappointed. This position is very serious and visibility is my main concern.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Nicole Randazzo defended Abbasi, citing her personal history as an example of an SG officer doing her job done despite not being on campus every day.

“I worked for SG from home for awhile and nobody nailed me to the wall,” Randazzo said. “I had another job and couldn’t afford to fly here every week, but I was still involved.”

Senator Marie Thomas questioned the legetamecy of Abbasi’s nomination.

“I really feel like this is still the good ole boy system,” Thomas said. “If you have a friend, you’re going to pull them in. I just feel like last year was last year this is a new year.”

While Flowers acknowledged the concerns of the senators, the president insisted that having an experienced politician presiding under him will allow Flowers to spend more time lobbying at the state level, a skill in which former president Barclay Harless was proficient.

“Barclay was really good at (working at the state level),” Flowers said. “He could fly up to Tallahassee and meet with the senators. I don’t have his connections, but now I can really focus on what he did.”

After responding to the concerns of the senators, Abbasi wasted no time in voicing his intentions as the newest member of the student government’s executive branch.

“My first goal will be to trim some positions,” Abbasi said. “Garin (Flowers) and I are definitely going to sit back and evaluate things. There’s a lot of trimming we need to accomplish.”

According to Abassi, Student Government’s primary focus right now should be putting the recent cloud of controversy behind it, instead of questioning the methods of his nomination.

“I’m glad I could stay here and listen to (the senators’) concerns,” Abassi said. “I hold no ill will toward anyone for voicing their opinions but, in light of recent events, I think its time to start the rebuilding process and move past all this.”

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3 Responses to “New USF Student Government VP looks to move past controversy”

  1. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    Very well written and concise. Nothing bad to say.

  2. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    I wasn’t aware that a new vice was chosen. Good reporting. Would work great for the oracle.

  3. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    I remember reading about the new VP in yesterday’s Oracle. But I believe that this one should have been published in the issue instead.

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