The UF Student Senate unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday condemning the presidential search committee and Student Body President Lauren Lemasters for unanimously nominating Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, as the university’s sole presidential finalist.
Minority Caucus Leader Faith Corbett (Change-District C) spoke on the resolution during the meeting, calling for Lemasters to vote “no” on Sasse’s confirmation. Lemasters holds one of the thirteen votes cast by the Board of Trustees.
“Student Body President is a position which is supposed to represent the ideas, actions, wants and needs of the student body,” she said. “But ‘unanimously’ is not how the student body wishes this vote to be known.”
The resolution was authored by Corbett, Deputy Minority Party Leader Gabriela Montes (Change-Liberal Arts and Sciences), Sen. Connor Panish (Change-Yulee) and Sen. Jonathan Stephens (Change-District D). Among the resolution’s 34 sponsors were senators from both sides of the aisle, including Majority Caucus Leader Blake Cox (Gator-District A).
“We hope that in the future, Student Body President Lemasters makes this a more communicative process to ensure that she really does represent the sentiments of the student body,” Corbett said in the meeting.
The resolution cited Sasse’s time as president of Midland University, his statement against the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision and student protests as grounds for the condemnation.
The Senate also passed a bipartisan resolution acknowledging the impact of Hurricane Ian on Southwest Florida, which called on faculty and student leaders to do everything they can to help those affected.
The next Senate meeting will be Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Senate Chambers, located on the ground floor of the Reitz Union.
Contact Alissa Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaGary1.
Alissa Gary is a second-year journalism major who's covering K-12 education for The Alligator. She has previously reported on student government and university administration. Aside from writing, she likes to take care of her plants and play (and usually win) the New York Times sudoku puzzle.