Guns on campus moves closer to reality
Two controversial gun bills passed through the first round of committees this week on their way to a Florida Senate vote: the right to carry concealed weapons on college campuses and the right to openly carry anywhere concealed carry is allowed.
The campus carry bill passed the Senate Higher Education Committee by a 5-3 vote. Supporters argue it would make students, professors and staff members safer by allowing them to defend themselves. Meanwhile, opponents said it would create a more dangerous environment and cost colleges tens of millions of dollars.
Michael Brawer, CEO of the Association of Florida Colleges, said it would cost $74 million to increase security on Florida’s 28 colleges since only five currently have armed security or campus police — USF is among this number.
Currently, 20 states ban concealed weapons on all college campuses while 23 allow each university to decide its own policy, according to the Miami Herald.
The open carry bill was presented to the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and passed with a 3- 2 vote. While critics say it would invoke fear rather than protection, supporters argue it only strengthens Second Amendment rights.
Currently, Florida law requires individuals to be 21 years old to get a concealed carry permit and does not allow open carry of handguns at all. According to the Herald, 1.4 million Floridians have concealed weapon permits with more than 300,000 in South Florida.
Both bills have another two committees to go through before reaching the Senate floor for a final vote.
Solano, Malanga win SG presidential run-off election
Juniors Sebastian Solano and Jessica Malanga were announced as Student Government (SG) president and vice president in the 2023 SG presidential run-off election. A total of 2,087 votes were cast across all three campuses, in which Solano and Malanga won 1,076. Runners up Cesar Esmeraldi and Elizabeth Volmy drew 1,011 votes, a 65-vote differential. Election […]
On-campus political groups split on bill targeting diversity initiatives
Student-led political groups on campus have presented differing opinions and action plans regarding House Bill 999, which targets diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT) initiatives at the state’s public universities. House Bill 999, which passed through the Florida state house on March 13, aims to prohibit state colleges and universities from […]
Trans+ Student Union holds Gender Affirming Clothing Swap
Among hundreds of clothing items separated by tops, bottoms and accessories displayed on top of several chairs in rows, the Trans+ Student Union (TSU) aimed to provide a safe space for over 45 students in attendance to explore their gender expressions through fabric. The Gender Affirming Clothing Swap event was held at the Marshall Student […]
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 […]