Sen. Martinez says farewell in final speech
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez left Washington on Wednesday with some regrets, some proud accomplishments and some frustration with a process he believes often puts politics ahead of policy.
Martinez gave a final speech 16 months before his first term was to expire, reflecting to colleagues about the pride of being the first Cuban-American to serve in the Cabinet and the only immigrant in the Senate. He said he regrets an immigration bill he worked on with Sen. Ted Kennedy that didn’t pass, but also talked about the joy of helping achieve the release of a Florida woman imprisoned in Vietnam.
Martinez has said he is leaving the Senate early to spend more time with family in Orlando. After his speech, though, it was clear he was also frustrated with being powerless to create change as a member of the Republican minority and as a senator who has already announced he won’t seek re-election.
“I came here to try to make a difference,” Martinez told The Associated Press. “I believe that once I decided not to run again, that things do change. It becomes more difficult to have a long-term view and it got to the point where I felt like I was more marking time than I was actually making a difference, and I became impatient with that.”
He also said that after being in public service for 12 years, serving as the Orange County chairman, former President George W. Bush’s first housing secretary and then as senator, began to wear on him and his family.
“It was time to return to private life and get back to what I know rather than just be here for a year and a half,” said Martinez, who was a successful trial lawyer before entering politics.
Student-led art exhibit showcases multidimensional change
Standing in front of a group of 20 attendees in the dimly lit Marshall Student Center Centre Gallery, freshman interdisciplinary social sciences major Carolina Gutfruend shared the significance of honoring sexual assault awareness through her art. Recounting her own experiences with guilt and shame as a survivor of sexual assault, Gutfruend said she wanted her […]
Students, faculty rally against state legislation targeting diversity initiatives
At a Tuesday rally intended to create student awareness for preserving academic rights, history professor Alex Levine read aloud two emails he received earlier this week from prospective employees and graduate students expressing fear for their future at USF. One of the emails was from a trans philosophy graduate student who messaged him about her […]
BOT approves new collective bargaining agreement, hears public comments regarding state legislation
At Tuesday morning’s meeting, the Board of Trustees (BOT) voted to accept a 3-year bargaining agreement (CBA) with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and listened to public comments from students and professors regarding House Bill (H.B.) 999. During the 9:30 a.m. hour-long meeting in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom, the […]
BOT approves $22 million expenditure for on-campus stadium
The Board of Trustees (BOT) met Tuesday morning at the Marshall Student Center Ballroom and approved the use of $22 million for the design of the university’s planned 35,000-seat on-campus football stadium on Sycamore Fields, located on the east side of the Tampa campus. The proposal received a unanimous vote. There was no formal […]
Four students arrested during SDS protest
Four members of Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) were arrested at the Patel Center for Global Solutions on Monday during a protest, according to USF Police Public Information representative Michael Lavelle. Laura Rodriguez, a 23-year-old USF alum, Gia Davila, a 21-year-old student, Jeanie Kida, a 26-year-old student and Chrisley Carpio, a […]
SG presidential race enters run-off election, unofficial gubernatorial and senatorial results announced
Two presidential tickets – juniors Cesar Esmeraldi and Elizabeth Volmy and juniors Sebastian Solano and Jessica Malanga – will enter a runoff election on March 21 and 22 to decide the next Student Government (SG) platform to serve USF’s student body. The meeting to announce the unofficial results, which was held Friday from noon to […]