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Thursday, May 23, 2024

After seven months in office, the Student Government executive officials gave the annual State of the Campus address Tuesday night.

“We all wake up every day and want to do something new for our Student Body,” said Student Body President Ashton Charles. “It’s something we are extremely passionate about, and we all feel very fortunate to serve.”

Charles provided an update on the progress SG has made on the Unite Party platform from last spring.

Under her administration, SG has revitalized its website, started publishing a monthly newsletter and collaborated with the Inter-Residence Hall Association to welcome freshmen to campus, according to Charles.

During this term, SG partnered with the UF Bookstore to establish a textbook rental service and held a tax-free textbook day, which, according to Charles, saved students thousands of dollars.

In the Student Senate meeting following the speech, Alexandra Moore, allocations chairwoman of the Unite Party, discussed future international relief trip hearings to decide how to allocate $20,000 for trip funding.

“These trips are usually funded by the Health Outreach [Association], but that money goes to dental and medical students,” said Sen. Severin Walstad, who represents the Unite Party. “Now the Allocations Committee can fund undergraduates in their efforts.”

The Senate unanimously passed resolutions concerning the bison removal from Paynes Prairie and the faculty senate proposal to cancel classes on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Sen. Andrew Hart, who represents the Student Alliance party, was one of the authors of the resolution condemning the bison removal.

He said preserving the bison habitats is important.

“It’s something that is profound to the cultural heritage of the state of Florida,” said Hart. “As the fourth most populous state in the nation, we are quickly losing resources, so it’s important to hold onto national treasures for current and future generations.”

For Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kleponis, the resolution supporting the cancellation of classes on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was  personal. A Miami native, he left at 5 a.m. on Thanksgiving to beat the traffic home on what he called the busiest traffic day of the year.

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“Giving students the extra day off really gives them a window so they can get home safely,” he said.

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