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Monday, April 22, 2024

UF's Student Senate spent nearly four hours giving tearful goodbyes to departing senators in the first of two Tuesday night meetings.

The first meeting featured senators who would soon be turning over their seats to the senators elected Oct. 4. After that meeting, about 30 brand-new senators were scheduled to take over.

Before the first meeting concluded, the Senate voted for the "most outstanding committee chair" and "most outstanding senator."

The winners will receive awards that are paid for using Student Government funds, which come from student money.

Departing senators and other SG officials then took more than three hours to say their goodbyes and thank their peers.

"There comes a time in every senator's career when you have to stand in front of Senate with a heavy heart," said Sen. Heshan "Grasshopper" Illangkoon. "Tonight is my night."

Illangkoon also encouraged the remaining senators to debate bills and not merely pass them based on party affiliation.

Student Body President Ryan Moseley and the rest of SG's executive branch also paid their respects to departing senators.

"We're saying goodbye to a lot of great senators and welcoming some new ones," said Student Body President Ryan Moseley.

Former Student Senate President Robert Agrusa spent about 45 minutes verbally reflecting on his time in the Senate.

He also handed out gavels and drinking glasses to committee chairs.

Agrusa advised incoming senators to work together.

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"Cooperation and collaboration: those are the two words I would remember in these chambers," he said. "In real life, cooperation and collaboration will get you so far."

The Senate was scheduled to vote on its final piece of legislation, a resolution in support of bringing Ruckus - a music downloading service for college campuses - to UF. By press time, they had not done so.

The nearly 30 new senators were also scheduled to be sworn-in and elect new Senate officers, including the Senate president and Senate president pro-tempore in the second meeting, which had not started by press time.

Two members-at-large had also not been chosen by press time.

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