SGA Boca advocates for student rights on HB1355

Student Government Association Executive Board of Palm Beach State College, Boca Raton Campus with advisor and active club members.

 

Natasha Lucas
Boca Raton Campus
Web Editor

The South Campus’s Student Government Association attended a court hearing in Tampa, Florida on January 27. The hearing was called to order by United States Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights to repeal bill HB1355.
According to flsenate.gov, The HB13355 is a compilation election bill which proposes numerous major changes to the Florida Election. These changes will make it extremely difficult for minorities, such as African Americans and Hispanics to vote. College students are also deeply affected by the HB1355 due to the fact this Bill prohibits same-day registration at voting polls. College students, particularly those transitioning from high school to colleges and universities, will most likely have a change of address that may not have been updated prior to election dates.
The executive board of Boca Raton’s SGA addressed this issue to the state Florida College Student Government Association, FCSSGA. Subsequently, FCSSGA was invited to testify at the U.S. Senate hearing on voting rights in Tampa. The hearing consisted of statements that were presented to the United States Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Right and Human Rights. Representing FCSSGA was the state president Sarah Pemberton.
Back in August of 2011, Yury Konnikov spoke to SGA and SGA’s advisor Marc Davis about the potential legislation. It was then recommended that Aneal Joshua Ramkissoon, former president of Boca Raton’s SGA, discuss potential legislative issues that should be presented to FCSSGA. Konnikov’s intention to confront the bill HB1355 was big, but SGA Boca had bigger objectives.
“I have to say that my initial goal was just to persuade SGA (Boca) to propose to FCSSGA the adoption of a position against the bill,” Konnikov said. As president of the Florida Initiative for Electoral Reform, Konnikov is amazed by the drive and ambition SGA Boca’s executive board.
“However, the Executive Board had a desire to offer a concrete and positive alternative on top of that,” he shared. “[It] led to our discussion to develop a position calling for the repeal of HB1355, the expansion of early voting access to campuses, and implementation of same-day voter registration in Florida.”