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Monday, February 26, 2024

Hey Gators,

I am a rising eighth-year Gator, professional student and second-term senator who commutes from Jacksonville every Tuesday to Student Senate meetings in an effort to make our university better.

In case you missed it, our Student Body president and Supreme Court recently held a very important meeting regarding overturning amendments, including online voting. This meeting was held during intersession, when the majority of students weren’t in town and was supposedly advertised on a lone bulletin board. The announcement came from our executive branch, representing our judicial branch, which is somewhat alarming in and of itself. This iconic timeline happens annually, when powerful leadership waits for new unsuspecting students on campus to gleefully enjoy the summer weather and not notice its hidden agenda.

On June 28, I was ready to drive my 90-minute commute to Student Senate. I was ready to provide evidence that the Supreme Court and our current Student Body president have knowledge on how to advertise such vital meetings by showing past emails, Alligator articles and announcements from them of other events and meetings.

I was ready to present Florida history and relevant cases — State v. City of Miami Beach and Grapeland Heights Civic Association v. City of Miami — showing that abstaining ballots do not count as participation in voting and the Supreme Court’s decision of analyzing the UF Constitution statement, “A three-fifths approval vote of those voting in the spring general election is necessary to ratify all constitutional amendments,” was wrong.

I was ready to show that the Student Senate president’s decision to dismantle the ad-hoc online voting committee was premature, and she contradicted herself when discussing what information from the meeting she had access to.

But then I realized: It’s someone else’s turn. Soon, I’ll be representing our university in different states on clinical rotations and unable to stand in those chambers and fight for our voices. We need new leadership. We need someone who’s ready to represent our Student Body with honesty and integrity for the next few weeks, months or even years. So Gators, I challenge you. Get involved. Speak at Student Senate. Voice your opinions. Show up to meetings. And please, stop letting them pull fast ones.

Aimee Dolan is the current District E Senator and a rising fourth-year professional student at the UF Jacksonville campus.

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