from Shirley, Vikki
date Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 1:35 PM
subject FW: Urgent Request For Mediation
hide details Feb 19 (2 days ago)
We received your email today concerning a public records request made to the University of Central Florida Student Government Association. We have spoken with Scott Cole, UCF’s General Counsel, and have been advised that they are in the process of compiling information responsive to your request. Tonya Perry, a paralegal in the UCF’s General Counsel’s office is working on your request and it our understanding that some of the information may be available to you as of later today. Ms. Perry can be contacted at (407)823-2482.
With respect to your question concerning Sunshine Law requirements, the law requires meetings of public bodies that are subject to the law to be open to the public and for the body to provide reasonable notice to the public of the date and time of the meeting. The UCF Student Government has also enacted an SGA Sunshine Law statute that is posted on their webpage.
With respect to the allocation of activity and service fees, attached is Board of Governors Regulation 7.003 which addresses the allocation and expenditure of such fees in subparagraph (7)(c)2.
If we can be of any additional assistance, please let us know.
Board of Governors
From: McDermott, Shannon
Sent: Friday, February 19, 2010 7:43 AM
To: Shirley, Vikki
Cc: Venters, Monoka; McKinnie, Karen
Subject: FW: Urgent Request For Mediation
Vikki – Can you respond?
Shannon M. McDermott
Assistant to the Chancellor
Board of Governors
State University System of Florida
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Phone: (850) 245-9687
Fax: (850) 245-9685
Visit us online at www.flbog.edu
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of KnightNews.com
Sent: Friday, February 19, 2010 3:30 AM
To: Clark, Lori; Chancellor, Board of Governors
Subject: Fwd: Urgent Request For Mediation
Dear Florida Board of Governors:
The Attorney General’s office suggested we contact you regarding a
serious dispute we are having with the Student Government Association
You can review the entire chain of emails below, but in a nutshell, we
don’t think the university is complying with this specific piece of
case law the Attorney General’s Office pointed out to us:
“The Florida Supreme Court has stated that the only delay in producing
records permitted under Ch. 119, F.S., “is the limited reasonable time
allowed the custodian to retrieve the record and delete those portions
of the record the custodian asserts are exempt.” Tribune Company v.
Cannella, 458 So. 2d 1075, 1078 (Fla. 1984), appeal dismissed sub
nom., DePerte v. Tribune Company, 105 S.Ct. 2315 (1985).”
We requested this information last Friday, and on Wednesday, we were
told we’d have to wait at least another week to get ANY of the
information we requested — conveniently after the SGA Presidential
Elections happen. We’re sure SOMETHING we requested would be available
now under these terms, even if it’s the audio recordings to listen to.
But so far, nothing has been turned over.
In addition, we are questioning whether the meetings held over break
(at a time when students were kicked out of dorms and unable to
attend) live up to sunshine law requirements of providing reasonable
access. Do you know if any other state universities use the same
methods? Is this common? Is this legal? Isn’t the senate supposed to
decide how this money gets spent and not a group of people who are
appointed instead of elected?
Please let us know if you can help get the records turned over.
Dear Attorney General’s Office:
KnightNews.com is a student news service at UCF.
We are trying to cover our Student Government Association, which
controls $15 million in public money, leading up to Monday’s SGA
We were told that over Christmas Break, on the day students who pay
this money got kicked out of their dorms in December, SGA’s leaders
quietly met in the empty student union for hours on end, and
reportedly allocated $14 million of the $15 million budget for next
fiscal year. We never got a press release or notification this was
happening, and students told us they had no idea this meeting was
happening. Even if students were told, they’d likely be unable to
attend because they had no place to stay in Orlando, as the meetings
lasted several days after dorms closed.
We put in this public records request (below) last Friday to the UCF
administrator charged with overseeing the student Activity and Service
Fee funds, and keeping custody of the records. We did not get any
response from him, so on Wednesday we walked to his office, only to be
told that he forwarded our email to the UCF General Counsel. He said
just because they are public documents doesn’t mean we’re entitled to
them, and there may be a cost involved.
We felt like they were trying to discourage us from following through
with our request, and we were surprised there would be a cost, when we
understand most, if not all of these records are available in
electronic format, likely already stored in emails, and they could
just easily forward them to us in 30 seconds.
He also told us, five days after we requested them, it will take about
another week for UCF’s General Counsel to make a ruling and get back
to us — conveniently, after the SGA Presidential Elections are over.
We are writing to you to ask that UCF’s SGA and the Activity and
Service Fee Office enter into a mediation with us over withholding
these records until after the elections. That December meeting is
becoming a matter of great public interest in this important election,
and we feel it is unreasonable for them to withhold them — from a
major campus news organization no less — until after the election is
Please let us know if you can help.
———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 2:02 PM
Subject: ASF Budget Records Request
Could you please fulfill our public records request for the following:
1) The ASF proposed budget/spreadsheets as they stand currently in an
electronic format (ex. Excel spreadsheets)
2) Any e-mails or packet of materials given to the committee prior to
the series of ASF meetings in December, in addition to any changes
made during and immediately after the committee met. (In essence, we
would like to see the proposals before they met, and be able to
compare them with what was agreed upon in the committee at the end of
the series of December meetings). We request this information in
electronic format if it exists that way. For example, if e-mails
containing this information exist, or the documents exist on a
thumbdrive or hard drive, we’d like it forwarded to us.
3. An e-mailed or electronic copy of all minutes of every ASF meeting
for the budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
4. Access to review audio recordings of the ASF meetings for this
fiscal year. (If these are in electronic format, we can come download
them or pick up a cd with them… if they are on tape, we’d come set
up a time to listen to them).
If some of this is easier for you to get to first, you can send me
what’s easiest first, and we can deal with the rest later.
When you respond, please send it to both email@example.com and our
gmail, firstname.lastname@example.org, in case the files are too big for our
See SGA’s email before they knew we got the records with Tallahassee’s help: