Election may alter Florida board
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 12:10
More than 12,000 students voted in the Student Government Association elections this year, but considering that is only one-fifth of UCF’s entire student population, the number is quite a poor showing. The democratic process is essential in all facets, and those who did cast votes might be glad they made their voices heard come Nov. 6.
Amendment 12, a proposed constitutional amendment in Florida, aims to change the way that the student representative on the Board of Governors is chosen. The Board is the governing body of Florida’s 12 public universities, and the president of the Florida Student Association, an advocacy group, currently stands as the student representative chair representing all 12 public universities. The amendment would change this, creating a new council composed of student body presidents from each individual university.
“One of the greatest things about the Florida Student Association is that it ensures equal representation on the board itself,” current New College of Florida student body president Michael Long said. “It ensures that the student representative is always informed and aware of the issues at every single campus, not just theirs.”
Supporters of the amendment argue that this will give each university the chance to have its president hold the spot of student representative on the Board of Governors. Critics argue that the amendment is unnecessary and that creating an entirely new council is redundant. The amendment would provide for the creation of a council composed of student body presidents from each of the 12 Florida institutions that is mandatory, whereas membership to the FSA requires dues that some universities, such as Florida State University, have not paid in the past and therefore were not represented.
As stated previously, only a fraction of UCF students voted this year for SGA president. This statistic is a simple litmus test to gauge your feelings about Amendment 12: Did you vote in the SGA elections this year? Do you care who the UCF SGA president is and what that individual does and is responsible for?
If you do, and if you have confidence in that individual, then vote yes on Amendment 12. If you don’t, then vote no and leave the student representative process the way it is, but know that the Board of Governors presides over the entire Florida university system. This is where big decisions are made; the ones about tuition and new campuses; the ones that make students pull their hair out and pay for gas in quarters. Yes, some may argue that it is only one chair out of the 17 members that make up the Board, but that chair could be a swing vote in a major decision.