A bill mandating Student Government social media accounts to make a social media post announcing elections passed through the SG Judiciary Committee on Sunday.
Sen. Michael Hoffman (Inspire, Hume) authored the bill, called the Voter Information Act, to help boost student turnout in SG elections, he said. Senators will vote on the bill Tuesday and Dec. 5.
Hoffman’s initial copy of the bill, drafted with the help of other Inspire Party senators and outside students, mandated two posts on social media accounts before the election and emails sent out through UF’s student Listserv.
Members of the Judiciary Committee asked Hoffman about using UF’s Listserv. Only UF administrators have access to it, and SG would need permission to use it. Different members voiced their concern about what would happen if administration denied them.
To resolve the issue, Hoffman drafted a new version of the bill at the meeting, which only mentioned social media posts instead of the emails.
“I disagree with the committee’s view on the original bill, but I’m really happy that we ultimately came to a consensus on how to increase voter participation in our student democracy,” Hoffman said.
Emily Dempsey (Impact, District A), the Judiciary Committee chairwoman, said the committee had concerns with the initial bill because they wanted to make sure UF’s administration would definitely provide the Listserv before establishing it as a rule.
“We wanted to make sure there was some groundwork before putting something in a bill, because that is law and is very concrete and definite,” she said.
She said she was happy the bill was passed through the committee to mandate social media posts.
“It’s definitely important to have that information accessible to students, and I think that is a good avenue to take,” she said.
Dempsey said the bill will be read twice, once at each of Fall’s remaining Student Senate meetings, and then senators will vote to pass it or not.
Hoffman said he hopes the bill passes so more students can learn about the elections. He said there currently isn’t a policy in place to inform students, which motivated his bill.
“I think anything would be an improvement, and just putting this in place, assuming the senate passes the bill, I think we will see a boost in turnout,” he said.