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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

USF student body president gets a dose of politics, Tallahassee style



Today in the Times: A profile of USF student body president Matthew Diaz fresh off his trip to the Capitol in protest of big budget cuts to his university. 

He listens to opera and studies philosophy. Like his father, he cries over happy things. Matthew Diaz, 22, has a favorite expression: The sweet is never as sweet without the sour.

One day life will be sweet. Right now, he has an aftertaste of Tallahassee politics.

The student body president from the University of South Florida led a 19-hour, round-trip road trip to the capital Wednesday to oppose massive cuts to the school's budget. He reminded a state Senate budget committee that college students are also voters.

In response, he met the tart tongue of 82-year-old Evelyn Lynn, a Republican state senator from Daytona Beach, who chided the students for being unprepared. Their numbers were wrong, she said, though their facts about the likely impact of cuts on USF had come from the school's own analysis.

She scolded Diaz for inconsistent positions on tuition hikes, suggesting that he was well off and reminding him that some students can't afford college.

"I felt like I was in fifth grade, getting lectured," Diaz said. "Maybe, to her credit, she knows something more than I do, and I'm a naive student."

Keep reading.


[Last modified: Friday, February 17, 2012 10:21am]


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