Student Government passes a trio of bills ahead of ‘Rally in Tally’

Julia Croston, Student Government Reporter

(Updated Oct. 12 to correct a minor error.)

On Friday, Oct. 8, Student Government (SG) met in the Senate chambers to finalize new legislation before it will be presented to state legislators at Rally in Tally. The bills advocate for sexual violence prevention training, telehealth, and Bright Futures. All three bills were presented by Student Body President Selma Besirevic and passed by the SG Senate with unanimous consent. 


Standing for “Students Undergoing Responsible Sexual Violence Intervention Training Via Online Resources,” this bill will advocate for the adoption of mandatory sexual violence training at UNF. 

UNF has incorporated sexual violence prevention training during student orientation in the past, but the training was never required. This bill will make the training mandatory, requiring its completion before students can register for classes. 

President Besirevic, Courtesy of SG

President Besirevic wants UNF to be a trailblazer by fully mandating this training before the state does. Besirevic has reached out to the University of Central Florida, the only university in Florida that mandates this training, to help form a Florida Student Association initiative along with other universities attending Rally in Tally. 

During the discussion, Senators supported this bill believing sexual violence prevention training should be mandated and will be effective. The bill passed with unanimous consent. 

The MINDS Bill

Standing for “Mental Health Initiatives Necessary for Development of Students”, this second bill will be used to lobby for statewide student telehealth services. The bill contains statistical evidence reflecting the need for a telehealth system. 

Telehealth will be a casual alternative for mental health counseling and other medical information as opposed to the emergency helpline. Telehealth will be more convenient for student use since the counseling center has been overwhelmed and fully booked.

The UNF Counseling Center. (Sam Chaney)

After a long debate over specific verbiage, the Senate moved to amend and pass the bill with unanimous consent. Senators fully supported this bill are hoping to remove the stigma surrounding mental health so more students can get the help they need. 


Standing for “Support for Higher Education to Preserve Educational Resources Designated for Successes”, this final bill of the trio will show student support for Bright Futures. President Besirevic incorporated evidence stating how 3,249 students currently attending UNF benefit from Bright Futures. The statistical evidence from UNF and other universities will reinforce state-wide student dependence on Bright Futures. 

The goal of this legislation is to reinstate the $300 per semester textbook stipend and to remove the grandparent clause. The grandparent clause allows students living outside of Florida to be eligible for Bright Futures if they have a grandparent in Florida, making it more challenging for students from Florida to receive Bright Futures. 

Photo courtesy of Siora18 via Unsplash

Eligible students rely on the textbook stipend to buy expensive textbooks, and its removal will decrease financial assistance.

The Senate agreed quickly to support this bill after some minor amendments.  

On Oct. 14, the three bills will be presented by members of SG at Rally in Tally in hopes to make changes on both the university and state level. 


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