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Sunday, October 01, 2023

Senators mixed talks of funding, food and global politics at Tuesday night’s Senate meeting.

Unite Party Sen. Ben Meyers, a member of the Food Service Advisory Committee, said the committee is considering converting the Alpha Phi Omega information booth on Turlington Plaza into a Jamba Juice and Subway.

He said the booth could be expanded to fit the restaurants. A convenience store could also be erected in close to Turlington Hall near the vending machines.

Meyers said students and employees of Gator Dining have shown support for the idea and said Capital Improvement Trust Funds would be one possible source of funding.

Meyers, who represents the sophomore class, also met with Rafael Yaniz, president of Gators for Israel, and Husam Wahdan, president of Students for Justice in Palestine, to discuss the Student Senate resolution affirming support for the state of Israel.

Meyers said the resolution has been revised and will be heard at next week’s Senate meeting.

“But have no fear, the controversy will not be as bad as before,” Meyers said, referring to the lengthy debate that occurred when the resolution was first heard.

The original resolution asked the U.S. Congress to oppose the Goldstone Report, which accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes during last winter’s Gaza Conflict.

Yaniz said the Goldstone Clause has been removed from the resolution and replaced with a clause advocating for a two-state solution to the Middle-East conflict.

“The idea is to show that the students at the University of Florida want peace in the Middle East, and we want a two-state solution to come out of this conflict,” Yaniz said.

A resolution is a piece of legislation that states the Senate’s opinion but takes no action.

Senators passed a resolution advocating a textbook rental program catered to UF students.

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Unite Party Sen. Eric Glickman who represents District D,  said the high costs of textbooks lead some students to consider them a luxury rather than a necessity. He said similar programs have been started at Florida State University and University of North Florida.

Senators also passed a bill giving about $2,700 for the Navy ROTC to travel to the Southeastern Conference Championship and participate in the color guard ceremony.

Close-Knit Gators, a charity knitting and crocheting organization, also received about $310. 

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