Dunson

Student Government Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Emily Dunson gives the committee’s report. Dunson addressed the reason for budget increases in her report. (June 7,2018)

About a month after elections, UF Student Government Senate will finally get to work.

SG elected Gator Party President Emily Dunson as its new Senate president and SG Judiciary Committee Chair Will Sandifer as its new pro-tempore after its certification of the Fall 2019 election results at Tuesday night’s Senate meeting. 

They weren’t the only student politicians with new positions. All new senators elected in September were voted into their seats during Tuesday’s first of two Senate meetings after a two-week delay. Four members-at-large were also elected.

The certification was delayed because not enough senators attended the Oct. 8 meeting. New senators were sworn in Tuesday because 52 Senate members attended and surpassed the 51-person quorum.

The Senate president election vote was 48 to 36 and pro-tempore was 45 to 35.

Dunson and Inspire Party Sen. Zachariah Chou were nominated for Senate president. Both said they will work toward bi-partisanship.

During her speech, Dunson said her goal is to dissolve party politics. Her platform focused on education, engagement and advocacy.

“In a time when polarization has made itself so evident in our chamber, I’ve implemented structures and created relationships that I believe have and will increase the efficiency and the purpose of our Senate body,” Dunson said. 

The nominees for Senate president pro-tempore were Sandifer and Inspire Party Senator Kristen Jackson. Sandifer used to be an Impact Party senator, but there was no mention of his party affiliation as pro-tempore.

Sandifer’s platform focused on one-on-one programs within Senate and greater communication.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman on campus or a graduate student,” Sandifer said. “If you can prove your work ethic and be a productive senator, I’ll always support you.”