UF Student Government Senate will continue meeting virtually, possibly in defiance of new rules.
Senate President Cooper Brown and Senate President Pro-Tempore Gabriella Zlatanoff will keep UF Senate meetings virtual until their terms end in the beginning of March.
Brown announced the extension during Tuesday’s Senate meeting over Zoom, going against Nov. 17 Senate rules that Brown and Zlatanoff sponsored. The Senate President runs UF Senate’s meeting and Senate President Pro-Tempore acts as their second in command.
The new rules require Senate to meet in person unless there is a state, local or national state of emergency. Florida’s state of emergency ends Jan. 2.
Brown and Zlatanoff did not respond to questions about why they decided to keep meetings virtual or if their decision defies the new Senate rules.
The rule changes also banned non-SG students from writing legislation and required students to register for public comment 19 hours before Senate meets.
Senate will vote in a new Senate President and Senate President Pro-Tempore after the Spring SG elections Feb. 23 and 24. It is unclear how Senate meetings will be conducted after March.
UF Senate began meeting on Zoom March 17 after UF canceled on-campus classes and events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It continued meeting virtually in Fall after some in-person classes and events returned.
In Spring 2021, UF will offer 8,112 in-person class sections, almost as many in-person sections as Spring 2020. Students will also be required to get a COVID-19 test every two weeks.
Lianna Hubbard is a reporter for The Alligator’s Investigative Team. The UF women’s study major began as a freelance reporter three years ago. She founded her community college’s award-winning newspaper before beginning at The Independent Florida Alligator. See an issue in your community or a story at UF? Send tips to her Twitter.