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Monday, June 24, 2024

House to talk seat for students on state board

A bill that would give the governor power to appoint a student representative to the Board of Governors will be debated today in the Florida House of Representatives.

HJR931 would nullify the current system of appointment, in which the president of the Florida Student Association serves as the student member of the Board. The bill was approved Tuesday by the House Education Committee.

FSA chairman Mike Long said he is wholeheartedly against the bill because it takes power away from students.

However, UF Student Body President Anthony Reynolds said giving the power of appointment to the governor is a fairer practice.

Florida colleges and universities pay FSA membership fees with students' activity and service fees, Reynolds said. A recent amendment eliminated schools' requirement to pay dues to be considered for the Board of Governors seat.

Now that not all colleges have to pay the fee, there may be animosity among schools that pay the dues and schools that don't, he said.

The result of this could play out when it comes time to elect the president of FSA, who would get the Board of Governors seat.

Giving the power to the governor could erase the entire issue, Reynolds said.

"We should be lobbying at the state capitol, not lobbying each other."

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