It took one week of waiting, a flurry of e-mails to Tallahassee — and even the threat of legal action against SGA, but late Friday afternoon, KnightNews.com finally got a portion of budget records we requested on Feb. 12.

And as KnightNews.com spent all week fighting to get this spreadsheet e-mailed to us, we found out more troubling information about the Activity and Service Fee Budget Committee, the same body under fire for allocating nearly the entire $15 million budget over Winter Break.

A committee member, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation, confirmed to us that the SGA Chief of Operations and Presidential Candidate Mike Kilbride was appointed to the student-at-large seat on the budget committe — a seat intended for a regular student, who could have helped share the perspective of an SGA outsider when deciding where student money should be spent.

The “at-large” seat is common with student governing bodies at UCF. Kilbride had to know he was taking the place of the “regular student” when he accepted the ASF seat, because Kilbride was also appointed the at-large member of Greek Council — becoming the only non-Greek allowed to help decide how Greek life is run at UCF.

How would Kilbride have felt if the “at-large” Greek Council position he applied for was given to someone on IFC instead?

He’d be outraged — and rightfully so.

So, why is it OK for SGA President Brian Peterson to pick his right-hand man to occupy a seat that is supposed to be the one voice of the regular student?

No wonder SGA fought us tooth and nail to try and keep the agenda and minutes which confirm this happened secret.

President Peterson: Did you heavily advertise this “at-large” position to the regular student, before resorting to appointing your chief of operations?

How many SGA outsiders applied for the spot, before Kilbride beat him out?
Did the regular student honestly even have a chance?

In a letter to the Central Florida Future you wrote in November, you said: “It’s no mystery that many students feel out of touch with their student government. Hopefully we’ve been able to change that this year.”

How is appointing your SGA Chief of Operations insider to the position the regular student should have changing anything?

How are you any better than the SGA Presidents before you that did the same thing, so their fraternity brothers could have a leg up when they ran for office next year?

President Peterson, you promised us action, you promised us change, but in the end, you brought us more of the same — and you let us down.

You’ve helped prove the saying: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

And you’ve helped prove the point of our editorial board: Bringing total transparency to SGA is the only way regular students will really ever know what’s going on.

We doubt a regular student wanting this information would have gotten it before the election, when even KnightNews.com felt in over its head, having to communicate with top lawyers with the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees every public university in Florida,  in order to get our request for the ASF budget fulfilled.

But even as attorneys from the Florida Board of Governors discussed our records request with UCF’s top attorney — whose office then promptly and politely released a portion to us Friday — SGA continued to make things difficult.

Even though we e-mailed our original request to the man in charge of the Activity and Service Fee office, SGA members suggested we hadn’t gone through the proper channels, and e-mailed us this complicated records request form, which states SGA can wait up to 72 hours before even looking at it and getting started on fulfilling our requests.

Thankfully, those running the “real” government didn’t see that as neccessary, and gave us clear, easier options to obtain SGA records in the future.

Around the time all this played out, one of the campaigns wrote this on a Facebook event page: “If you want to see this University in the hands of those with the integrity to make the STUDENTS proud then come out and show your colors.”

We couldn’t agree more.

UCF, KnightNews.com has done its job fighting to get information for you. Now you do yours, use it and get out to vote this Monday thru Wednesday.

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See some of the emails we exchanged with the lawyers in Tallahassee on the NEXT PAGE:

74 COMMENTS

  1. This is the silliest thing I have ever seen for a student newspaper. The truth is that the ASF committee is EXTREMELY complex to navigate. It has so much power and very little regulation. You cannot possibly expect that the average student is going to have any clue how to vote or how to operate on a committee like this. The idea of appointing the “average” student to something ASF is ludicrous. SGA should never have even included this position in the first place. For years, the spots have been filled with SGA insiders because they understand the internal politics and they know the parliamentary process that governs the proceedings. If the student media really wants the “average” student to be involved, they need to analyze why it is that so many senators are elected from greek organizations…. Why? Because those students vote. If the “average” student won’t do their part to elect “average” students to the easiest spots to win….. then the “average” student doesn’t deserve a voice in SGA. Tell those “average” students that you are so fond of promoting, that they need to get off their butts and get involved. Decisions are made by those that show up, and if the students don’t care enough, they don’t have the right to disagree when SGA makes decisions they don’t like. Deal with it.

  2. Personally I think Peterson did a great job this past year. This article is very biased and seems its just one more way stein can rip into Peterson because he is still angry about being beaten and outclassed I remind you. Stein this website is obvious bullshit and you can count on one less reader of your News site.

  3. @ Mike Mordaci
    This is the response that everyone who really gives a shit about students fears. SGA is a resource for students to express themselves and advocate for their beliefs to the administration and other parts of the government.
    If people people like those running Knightnews keep up with these false accusations and nihilistic methods of mediation, there may not be an A&SF budget next year.
    You are incorrect in your facts, the faculty senate cannot touch SGA, but Knightnews isn’t bothering them. They are contacting people in the Board of Governors and Florida legislature (or so the allege). These are the people who, year after year, discuss taking away the A&SF because they feel students are too childish to handle it.
    I don’t think it is fair that all students and all student organizations should have to be punished because the people running Knightnews are a bunch of lying, whining, brats who need to know how to follow simple procedures.
    That is part of college, learning how to navigate your way through society and work with the systems in place to get what you need, or take the opportunity to make changes for the better.
    Sounds to me like freshman Cliff Jett hasn’t learned how to do this yet. Stand up against Knightnews, DON’T LET THEM RUIN IT FOR EVERYONE!

  4. This fraud is getting out of hand! Everyone knows this whole election is a fraud and SGA is a complete joke and whoever wins will be completely wasting our money and spending irresponsibly to support these idiots who bicker of the most ignorant pointless BS. Whoever wins will elect a cabinet or campaign supporters and corrupt individuals to continue on the SGA tradition. I think it is time that UCF Faculty Senate jumps in and completely takes action against this behavior. This election should be called off and everyone currently involved in SGA should be impeached for aiding in corruption and all new people need to be put in place. You guys are making every student at UCF hate SGA more than they already did. UCF faculty needs to take control of these little kids that think they are politicians when really are they are is a bunch of power hungry elitists with nothing better to with their time. Another form of Illuminati on the college level!

  5. Knightnews= UCF version of TMZ
    TMZ= not a credible resource
    do you really want a media outlet with no credibility endorsing a campaign with no experience? I know I dont.

    Killbride all the wayyy!

  6. No one said chief of operations is supposed to get that job, I will say yet again for you “most qualified individual” if that happens to be someone who holds a position in SGA then so be it, that individual is still a student and still has the right to apply for positions. Are you saying that he should give up all his student rights because he works in Student Government?

    And if you want the names of people or to dive into the issue further then go to SGA, schedule a sit down meeting with Brian and have a discussion. Just because you can’t get answers to your questions on a discussion board doesn’t mean the answers aren’t there. Use your brain and legs and mosey on over to Student Government.

  7. Since you know so much. What were the names of the students who didn’t get the job? I’d love to see knightnews or the future interview them about how they feel about Peterson’s buddy boy beating them out of the job. If Chief of Operations was supposed to be on the committee, the senate would have wrote the statutes that way.

  8. If you want met to refute Knight News then I will do so, it is quite simple:

    The at-large position was advertised long before the position was selected, it was advertised through a-frames, facebook, Peterson\Andrick weekly tabling, official postings, SGA website, etc… to name a few. The application was open the allotted time, few people applied (not including Seeff and Wolkenfeld who claim that they care “oh so much” about A&SF spending) and the most qualified was Mike Kilbride. In any position no matter it be SGA or a business you choose the most qualified who will do the best job. The heads of all three branches (President: voted on by students, Senate Speaker: voted on by senate who is voted on by students) met and selected the best candidate for the position. Therefore the students put people into power because they have faith that they will put the best candidates and most qualified people into these positions, well in turn that means the students did the right thing. If you disagree with the students choice then bash away as you have been doing, however this entire article is based off of slander and dramatics. And I am sorry but “Regular students” that you say should have gotten the position, well they didn’t apply. And that “Regular Student” almost always has no understanding of A&SF dollars and what means to be fiscally responsible when deciding who to allocate them too. So therefore Knight News thinks that an untrained and unknowing regular student would have been more fit (if they had even applied) for this position then someone who is involved in SGA, an SGA Agency, and student organizations.

    Let me reiterate one more time:
    VERY FEW PEOPLE APPLIED FOR THE POSITION, THE MOST QUALIFIED GOT THE JOB.

    You can either suck it up and face the facts or you can keep claiming that these mysterious “regular students” were shutout of an opportunity that was presented to them in as many ways as possible.

    Stop using your Fox News UCF equivalent to spread hatred and unrest over issues that do not need it.

    Seeff\Wolkenfeld: If you really cared about A&SF you would have applied for the position. I know that Wolkenfeld knew about it as a senator, and if Seeff as a “Business Strategist” dealing with funds and fiscal responsibility didn’t even know about the A&SF at-large position and doesn’t even attend meetings then he is SPREADING CRAP TO THE STUDENT BODY.

    Wake-up UCF and breath in that fresh Seeff dookie.

  9. I like how no one has even disputed a single fact in this article, they just bash KnightNews because it is exposing their friends, who are corrupt.

    Peterson literally gave the only position of 3rd party oversight to his Chief of Staff, who he knew was running for President so that it would make him look good for giving out millions of dollars to students.

    Am I saying Peterson is a bad president? Absolutely not. Did he do something ridiculous here? Obviously. His defense was “many president before me have done this.” Alright Peterson, if the presidents before you sold cocaine out of their office, would you justify doing so?

    Stop bashing KnightNews for bringing this to your attention. If anything, commend them for having the courage to do so when the Central Florida Future lets this stuff happen and doesn’t report it, while SGA sits back and writes them checks for advertising space.

  10. Its a beautiful thing when you claim things to be opinions but try to present them as truths. The whole article attacks, attacks, attacks. And where was the Knightnews staff asking these “tough questions” and providing these great “editorials” prior to elections? The timing of these opinions is just plain astonishing. Could it have come at better time for a fake news group like this thats supporting Daniel and Kevin to publish an opinion article blasting SGA? How crazy is this timing. Gee I wonder why that is….

  11. The future didn’t give an opinion you idiot, they wrote a straight news article on it. This story on knightnews is an opinion, hence why they clearly state it is an editorial on the giant graphic and on the top.

    No wonder you can’t understand what the hell is going on… and are probably voting for kilbride and his corrupt friends.

  12. Ok the central florida future just came out with a similar article.

    But it gives an unbiased opinion, as well as a look into both sides. You know…..what real news outlet is supposed to do.

    Were not hating, were being honest.

  13. Stein,

    You are a good friend, but I will have to say that the news reporting your website has is Yellow Journalism.

  14. Wow!!!!

    I think Knightnews either needs to get their facts straight or stop working for the Daniel & Kevin campaign. point blank.

    Though this may be my first year at the university, my first year experience will always be remembered for what SGA brought to my life. The people who are criticizing this years administration probably are the people who had no involvement on this campus for this whatsoever, it is easy to criticize when you do nothing.

    Brian peterson did a great job, and we are lucky to have somebody from his cabinet running for office!

  15. “Knightro
    FEBRUARY 21, 2010 AT 8:24 AM
    Peterson and his cabinet went to Universal Orlando Resort for their retreat and stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel. The minimum rate for that hotel is around $200. Multiply that towards their entire cabinet.
    Sorry but when I pay tuition I am not paying for them to go on vacation.
    I want a change.
    Daniel and Kevin have my vote!!!”

    Wow, this is all very false. We got a free pass to Universal and went with several student leaders from the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) – and we didn’t stay at the Hard Rock, are you kidding? We stayed in an apartment style hotel, 8-10 people per hotel room. I think there were four total? Most of us had to share a bed, sleep on a pull out couch, or chair. We also cooked dinner ourselves one night, we made lasagna and brought it to one of the rooms and at there. Breakfast was made via toaster where we had our meetings… As far as I know, we’ve spent the least amount on retreat this year than the years prior. Quit gossiping and get your fact straight.

  16. Universal works closely with UCF in terms of providing discount tickets and freebies (Universal works with the Student Union ticket center for distribution of tickets).

    If you are employed by the university, and were to contact the appropriate individual at Universal for DONATED (aka free) tickets for a legitimate reason (student program, team building purposes, prize for an event, etc) they will happily work with you in providing those tickets.

    Please stop suggesting that admission to Universal was a “kickback” or “bribery.” It was Universal doing business and supporting UCF by supplying admission to student leaders 🙂

  17. The fact that you went to universal for vacation on our dime is disgusting.

    You may not have paid for the tickets then, but we all know you bribed universal with the spring event … they gave you a kickback with those free tickets and cheap rooms. You could have done this retreat in the union for free!

  18. Where are you getting your facts?? I was on the retreat. We paid closer to $250 per room, had 4 rooms, 8-10+ people in each. For the record they were apartment style, and we used every pull out sofa bed in the place. NOT hardrock hotel.

    Also because they were apartment style we cooked our own meals. Here is what we ate: First night dinner was at Bubba Gump, about $12-15 per person (special group rate). Day 2: Bagels, toast, and juice in the morning – we set up our own toaster in the meeting room. We had the hotel cater 1 lunch, sandwiches and chips. We made our own dinner (I can’t remember exactly what it was but I remember I made the corn). Day 3: Repeated breakfast. Had lunch on our own.

    **This is the most fiscally responsible SGA has ever been (well in my 4 year experience) during cabinet retreat to ensure student dollars aren’t spent on lavish meals!

    And YES we DID go to Universal. It was FREE. They donated the tickets to us. Also at Universal were students involved in OSI (Office of Student Involvement)who got one free day in the park after spending a year of unpaid time to make OSI what it is and put on all the events that students attend!

    The Cabinet retreat is not a secret. But you sir (or madam) are LYING. Probably because you are either part of the scheme-machine that is Knightnews or because unfortunately you have fallen for their lies.

    Next time, Check your facts or just ask us!

  19. Well if as several posters have stated only 3 people applied for the position of a student-at-large seat, maybe he was the most qualified. Generally speaking only about a small handful of students ever apply for the positions and of them, usually at least one Senator applies (which is ridiculous since Senate already has a bunch of seats allocated to them). If you don’t have a large pool of potential candidates, why not select the individual who was in charge of the very successful Dance Marathon that was nationally recognized and who is involved in various OSI-related activities? Also, since people always love to ignorantly blame the SGA President for everything, here’s a little fact for ya- The 2 positions are selected by a panel of the THREE HEADS OF BRANCHES: President, Speaker of the Senate, and Chief Justice. Seeing as the Speaker of the Senate was voted onto Senate by this year’s students, President by last year’s students, and the Chief Justice is generally revered to be the most unbiased person in Student Government I fail to see how the selection of the two “at-large” seats were kickbacks for the President’s “buddies.”

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