Senate Meeting: Election Recognition and Discussion on Gun Safety

Sam Chaney

On March 9, Student Government held its first senate meeting following the recent Student Government elections. The meeting consisted of various committee reports and addressed concerns regarding gun safety and legislation.

The meeting began when Elections Commissioner Aesha Soliman reviewed and formally announced the results of the recent Student Government election to the Senate. Soliman reaffirmed the successful election of the Forward Party, though the results technically remain unofficial until validated by Senate next week.

Next, Attorney General Jaclyn Glosson appeared before the Senate for a brief address following her recently announced resignation from Student Government. Glosson received a standing ovation from her fellow senators as she left the podium for the last time.

Director Zachary Levensohn appeared before the Senate to report on the status of the Lend-A-Wing Pantry, announcing that inspections are to occur next week. No final date has been given regarding the completion of renovations, though Levensohn assured the Senate that “the end is in sight, and [they] should have the final word very, very soon.”

Student Body President Thomas Beaucham addressed the Senate on behalf of Osprey Productions, stating that the name of the artist for the upcoming concert on April 13 has not yet been announced, though teasers will soon start making their way around campus.

Beaucham also thanked the Senate members for their time and effort in Student Government elections, saying that he appreciated their hard work and he looks forward to assisting in the upcoming transition.

Senate President Nina Lee stepped in for Senator Megan Kovac to report on the University and Student Affairs Committee report, reminding the senators that the next Round Table discussion with students will take place on March 12 and 13.

Lee then continued by giving her own report, announcing to the Senate that Sheriff Mike Williams of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) will be a guest speaker with the Senate on March 16. Williams will reportedly be discussing safety in Jacksonville from a law enforcement perspective, and will further explain how JSO deals with discrimination.

Lastly, the Senate floor was opened to discussion on gun safety and legislation. The discussion was added to the agenda in response to an email that Senate President Lee received from a student government committee at University of South Florida (USF), asking her to sign a petition on behalf of the UNF student body. The email also included an open letter from students to Florida representatives, asking them to reconsider their stance on current gun laws.

Lee asserted that it is not within her right to sign the petition in the name of the student body, but that she could instead sign the petition on behalf of the Senate if the members decided to vote in approval of such an act.

After an in-depth discussion and debate regarding the letter and petition in question, the Senate ultimately voted to approve USF’s petition on gun violence. Lee will sign the petition by majority approval.

The next Senate meeting will take place on March 16.

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