Late last week, Florida State University’s Student Government Association (SGA) election results were released. ForwardFSU, seen as a more moderate alternative to the progressive Surge, coasted to victory in most elections.
ForwardFSU’s Jack Hitchcock was elected Student Body President, Nina Chong was chosen as Vice President, and Adam Bowling as Treasurer. The party also won control of all but fourteen seats in the Student Senate.
“We want to extend the highest congratulations to our Student Body Executive Slate, Senior Class Council Slate, Union Board Slate, Undergraduate Slate, Business Slate, Engineering, Human Sciences, Education, Communication, Criminology, and Arts and Sciences seat for their well-earned success in Wednesday’s election cycle,” ForwardFSU said in a statement posted to Instagram on Friday.
But after noting that “rumors were spread, lies were told, and those with the intent to leave our campus in ways better than they found out were disrespected” during the campaign, the party seemed to criticize Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Republicans for House Bill 999, which would codify the governor’s proposed education reforms.
“In light of these trials, recent attacks on higher education, and a divided student body, it is clear we need to move Forward Together now more than ever,” the statement noted.
Like ForwardFSU, progressive alternative Surge has blasted efforts by state officials to scale back diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs at Florida’s institutions of higher learning.
Surge will control seats representing the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, the College of Music, the College of Medicine, the College of Law, the College of Social Work, the College of Education, and the College of Arts and Sciences in the coming legislative session.
In the days leading up to SGA’s March 1 elections, Surge blasted ForwardFSU for some of their party’s current student senators refusing to oppose the governor’s proposed higher education reforms.
“These senators are empowered by their party, even while advocating against vulnerable student populations,” Surge wrote in an attack on ForwardFSU.
However, despite ForwardFSU and Surge articulating firm opposition to Governor DeSantis’ proposed policies, it is unlikely that Florida State’s Student Senate can do anything meaningful to stop them.
As Surge referenced, the Student Senate passed a resolution in February condemning DeSantis’ desired changes to higher education in Florida.
The Collegian reported that the resolution accused the governor of promoting “ethnocentrism” by attempting to impose a “limit on diverse education and acknowledgment of the struggles of global and national minorities throughout history.”
Governor DeSantis hasn’t discussed the results of Florida State’s student elections, and there is no indication he is aware of or fazed by the outcome.
“We’re eliminating these DEI programs,” DeSantis said in a Fox News interview on Monday. “We’re upholding the concept of individual merit, not trying to divvy up people by race as part of some woke sweepstakes.”