The Gainesville City Commission will be at the Reitz Union to talk to students about keeping Midtown bars open longer.
A joint meeting between Student Government and the Gainesville City Commission will take place 6:30 p.m. in the Senate chamber on the ground floor of the Reitz Union, according to the meeting agenda. They are also set to discuss expanding open container laws and issues between tenants and their landlords.
While bars could stay open past 2 a.m., they would stop serving alcohol, city spokesperson Chip Skinner said. The change would give time for bar goers to eat and call for safe rides home, he said.
A panel discussion will be held before the meeting at 5:30 p.m., said Emily Dempsey, the SG director of external affairs. This is the first time the panel of city commissioners, as well as Gainesville Police and University Police officials, has been held.
The panel discussion is an opportunity for the students to have a conversation with community leaders, Dempsey said. Students may ask questions about issues they are facing, including questions about campus security or leasing in the Summer semester.
“This event is really just trying to create an open dialogue to facilitate a conversation to better the City of Gainesville,” Dempsey said.
The last time the City Commission attended an SG meeting was in January 2017, said Senate President Danielle Grosse.
The commission contacted SG over the summer to set up the meeting, Grosse said. The mayor and all six of the commissioners are expected to attend. Each commissioner will discuss projects he or she is taking on.
“The overall goal is to just get students in there talking to their commissioner, talking to their representatives and kind of give them the space to see what each other do,” Grosse said.
Students are a large portion of the population in Gainesville, said City of Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe. Students should be involved in the process of creating new laws that may affect their daily lives, he said.
“As a commission, we want to be able to assess and see where there might be opportunities to work together,” Poe said.