You know those annoying event reminders that pop up on your Facebook page? Well recently I was alerted to a panel discussion of Women in Politics to be held at Florida Atlantic University. The event indicates it is co-hosted by AWCSF and FAU; Association for Women in Communications South Florida, and Florida Atlantic University.

Hoping to secure a ticket I anxiously went to the Facebook page only to see that two female candidates currently running for Boca Raton city council are part of the panel. Missing from the roster is the one female candidate who also happens to be the only alumna of FAU – Andrea Levine O’Rourke.

The efforts to rectify this professional slight initially met with red tape and a series of ‘fake facts’ surrounding the panel selection.

Fake Fact #1

“The panel is not about a political agenda but about women in politics, future, present and past” Tonya Scholz President, Association of Women in Communications South Florida

Fake Fact #2

“I am not involved with the organization or hosting this event.” Constance J Scott, FAU Director of Local Relations, Former Deputy Mayor of Boca Raton and Panel Guest.

Fake Fact #3

“This is an educational discussion.”

Excluding the only female candidate, who is an FAU alumna, from this panel does a disservice to the student population. The FAU Alumni Association should be outraged as should the members of FAU Student Government.

To add insult to injury the AWCSF is also hosting a forum specifically for the female candidate running against Andrea Levine O’Rourke prior to the March 14th elections. We have yet to determine if the charter for the AWCSF permits them to endorse local candidates or to influence votes by their members.

A nonprofit organization is prohibited from directly or indirectly intervening in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Additionally, voter registration activities with evidence of bias or having the effect of favoring a candidate are also prohibited. (See IRS.gov for more specific guidelines)

The tactics surrounding this FAU event suggests political cronyism has seeped into a beloved public institution at its core.

OWLS not only have their feathers ruffled but should start screeching!

Update…. Since this article was penned, we have learned that the Women in Politics forum has been postponed until after the March 14 elections.