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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Bill to change the Board of Governors student member selection process comes up again



The idea to remove as a member of the Florida Board of Governors the president of the Florida Student Association is up again, with a joint resolution filed by today by Sen. Bill Montford.

The bill would instead have the member simply be a student body of a state university. A similar bill came up last session, sponsored by Democratic Representative Alan Williams and supported by Montford

Rep. Matt Gaetz introduced the idea last month, saying that it wasn't fair that students have to be part of the association -- a group made up of student body presidents of all the universities, which has membership dues -- to have the opportunity to serve on the board that governs Florida's 11 public universities. He said the point was to avoid what he saw as a "pay to play" situation. Gaetz's bill would have the Governor make the appointment.

The student who currently holds that Board of Governors position, New College sophomore Michael Long, said it's not a good idea. 

Being part of the Florida Student Association is not a prerequisite to getting elected to that board seat, Long said. The statute that outlines the position states that a member of the FSA, or the equivalent, is elected by his or her peers. If the students wanted to choose someone not part of the FSA, they could, Long said.

Ten of the 11 universities' student body presidents are part of the FSA. Only Florida State University, Gaetz's alma mater, does not participate.

[Last modified: Friday, January 6, 2012 11:58am]


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