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Friday, February 03, 2023

UF Student Body President tells students she’s undecided on Sasse vote

UF student organizers swarmed Lauren Lemasters’ office hours to present list of demands

Lauren Lemasters, Gator Party's nominee for Student Government president, walks up to the podium outside of Library West at the announcement of the party's executive ticket on Wednesday, Jan. 26.
Lauren Lemasters, Gator Party's nominee for Student Government president, walks up to the podium outside of Library West at the announcement of the party's executive ticket on Wednesday, Jan. 26.

Student Body President Lauren Lemasters told student organizers her vote on UF presidential finalist Sen. Ben Sasse is still to be decided Thursday morning during her office hours.  

A coalition of UF organizations attended Lemasters’ office hours Oct. 27 at 8 a.m. to ask her to vote against Sasse, who will be interviewed and voted on Nov. 1.  The coalition includes student organizations UF Young Democratic Socialists of America, UF College Democrats and Graduate Assistants United. 

The coalition also presented five demands regarding the presidential search process as a part of its “Spook Sasse Out of Our Swamp” plan.

One of the demands was asking Lemasters to vote “no” at the Board of Trustees final vote on Sasse.

Lemasters' vote won’t be known until Nov. 1, she said. 

“I’m honestly still listening to students and figuring it out,” Lemasters said. 

Sasse would need a majority vote from the board to move on to the Florida Board of Governors to be confirmed as president-elect.

Another demand was for the Board of Trustees to release the names of all 12 UF presidential finalists. 

After the students spoke, Lemasters thanked the students for having a conversation with her and asked if there were any questions they wanted her to ask Sasse at his final interview with the Board of Trustees. 

“How is he going to feel about serving at a university where he is kind of hated by the student body,” one student said. 

The coalition’s next step is to protest during Sasse’s final interview with the Board of Trustees Nov. 1 from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. outside of Emerson Alumni Hall. 

Anushka Dakshit contributed to this report.

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Contact Claire at cgrunewald@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @grunewaldclaire.

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Claire Grunewald

Claire Grunewald is a third-year journalism major and a metro reporter for The Alligator. In addition to writing, she enjoys going to the beach and discovering new music.


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