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Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Student Government SG Generic
Student Government SG Generic

During the rescheduled joint Student Senate and Gainesville City Commission meeting Tuesday, senators asked commissioners how they can improve bicycle safety in the city.

The meeting was held after commissioners canceled the original meeting at the last minute during Fall, according to Alligator archives. Senators asked the commission, including Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe, questions about student life and the Gainesville strategic development plan.

Senator Ethan Hudgins (Impact, Architecture) asked how the city plans to expand on bike safety after the death of UF student Abigail Dougherty, who was hit while riding her bike on University Avenue in October.

“She was a friend of mine,” he said. “Cycling deaths are preventable by design.”

Poe said the Gainesville community never wants to see a cyclist death. He added students can alert the city to problems with crosswalks by downloading the mobile application “GNV311” to take a photo of problems. The photos are automatically sent to the appropriate city department.

“It’s not a quick fix because some of our roads were built very dangerously,” Poe said.

Commissioner Helen Warren said cyclists, in addition to drivers, should pay attention and follow traffic laws. Students should educate each other about the dangers of texting and driving to reduce the risks of accidents, she said.

When it came to discussing the strategic development plan, which aims to develop the area around the university, Poe said he wants to hear from students.

“I would love to see all of you show up and participate in (strategic development plan) meetings and advocate for what you want,” Poe said.

During the meeting, Budget and Appropriations Chairman Charlie Brown, Jr. (Impact, Agriculture-01) also announced he was resigning to apply for graduate schools.

During his farewell speech, he said when he first joined Senate, new senators wrote about 33 percent of new legislation but that percentage has decreased since, which Senate should work to improve.

“My time in this chamber has been extraordinary,” he said. “It has taught me to love harder and work harder.”

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Senators also approved $1,265.20 in funding for Alpha Omega, a Christian student organization, and $264.51 for Skin Cancer Prevention Force, a student organization raising awareness about skin cancer.

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