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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Senators discussed giving a voice to UF students on a potential Reitz Union fee at Tuesday night’s Senate meeting.

The Student Senate unanimously passed a bill that will put a question about the Reitz Union expansion fee on the Student Government spring election ballot.

The proposed question has two parts.

It asks students whether a fee should be implemented, and, if so, whether it should cover expansion and repairs.

Senators amended the bill to include more information about how the fee will be used.

Unite Party Sen. Alex Masi, who represents the Rawlings area, presented the amendment to the original bill.

He said rephrasing the question makes it clear for students what the fee will be going toward.

“The hands-down goal of this is to help students understand what’s going on,” Masi said.

The new version of the question tells voters the Reitz Union is more than 40 years old, needs an estimated $40 million in repairs and was originally built for only 19,000 students.

Progress Party Sen. Matt Vernon, who represents graduate students, said the background information is useful for voters, and the referendum question requires two different parts.

Orange and Blue Part Sen. Jon Ossip, who represents the Murphree Common Area, said the information about the Reitz Union should be supplemented by information about the additional financial burden the fee will place on graduate students and students at satellite campuses.

“These students do not use the Reitz Union almost ever,” Ossip said.

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Senators also discussed lending a hand in Haiti.

Senate President Ashton Charles, who represents the Unite Party and worked to help organize Gators United for Haiti, which is working to raise money for Haitian relief, said the University Athletic Association announced it will match the group up to $50,000.

Senators voted unanimously to pass a resolution honoring the victims of the tragedy in Haiti last week.

A resolution is a piece of legislation that expresses senators' opinion but does not take action.

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