Student Government SG Generic

UF Student Government makes decisions for a student population of over 50,000, but it is turning its attention to the world.

Three resolutions, non-binding statements of agreement, were heard before the UF Senate Judiciary Sunday, that address the global issues of divestment from fossil fuels, support of victims of a tornado in Havana, Cuba, and recognition of Juan Guaidó as the Venezuelan interim president. Student Senators will vote on some of the resolutions Tuesday night.

The judiciary committee first spoke about how it would address Cuba after the strongest tornado since 1940 hit the country in the city of Havana on Jan. 27.

Sunday’s resolution recognized the efforts of the Cuban American Student Association to provide aid to those affected and voiced support for Cuban Gators and their families.

On Thursday, the Cuban American Student Associated collected more than 35 bags and boxes of donations to deliver to Havana via a US-based travel company called Montes de Oca Travel.

The committee then discussed a resolution that called for the divestment of fossil fuels. Sam Jenkins (Inspire, District D) and three students from Divest UF, an organization that wants UF to remove its money from fossil fuel industries authored the resolution, said Marcela Mulholland, a member of Divest UF and a 21-year-old UF political science and sustainability studies senior.

“As young people, we have a unique moral position in this argument,” Mulholland said.

The resolution on Sunday asked for the creation of a divestment task force on the UF Board of Trustees and for money to be directed to sustainable companies.

During the hearing, Jenkins said the University of California, Berkeley, which is a top five public university, had divested from fossil fuels.

“Why can’t we be a leader, too?” Jenkins said.

The resolution was postponed over concerns on how the endowment process works.

Aggie Argeros, a co-author of the resolution, said Divest UF would speak at the Senate meeting to show that students care about these issues.

“To not see it pass is very disappointing,” said the 22-year-old UF sustainability and botany senior.

The committee then spoke about how more than 1,200 miles away, Venezuela has experienced mass panic and riots due to claims that last year’s presidential election was corrupt, according to The Associated Press.

The other globally reaching resolution, showed SG’s support of Juan Guaidó, the leader of National Assembly, as leader over Nicolas Maduro, the acting president.

UF has a Hispanic/Latinx population of 15 percent, according to UF Institutional Planning and Research.

Stephanie Beltran, a co-author of the Cuban and Venezuelan resolutions, (Impact, Freshman) said the resolutions don’t just affect Hispanic and Latinx students but said they can bring awareness to campus.

“This does affect the whole world,” Beltran said.

Hannah Beatty is a third-year journalism major and sociology minor from Jacksonville, Florida. She began at the Alligator in the fall of 2018 as a general assignment staff writer and now serves as the student government beat reporter.