UF student body president looks ahead to semester


Published: Monday, January 9, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 8, 2006 at 10:20 p.m.
With the year 2005 in the past, what was accomplished and what can students at the University of Florida look forward to?
Student Body President Joe Goldberg reflects on the first half of his yearlong term and offers some goals for the rest of it, which ends in May.
"We had a great year in '05 and it will be even better in '06," Goldberg said.
This year students can look forward to Later Gator services seven days a week to provide students with a safe alternative to drinking and driving.
Goldberg said his administration also is working with the University Athletic Association to encourage responsible drinking by designing three posters with campus celebrities like Urban Meyer. The posters were distributed throughout campus and at local bars.
The Regional Transit System also plans to begin Sunday bus service at the request of UF students.
Goldberg said one major highlight he remembers from 2005 was the success of the university's athletic programs.
"The football team's wins against FSU (Florida State University) and Georgia leave us with great expectations for 2006," he said. Goldberg also commented on the win at the Outback Bowl, and the successful season of the UF basketball team.
For students using the campus workout facilities, there is no longer a need to bring your own towel to the gym. Goldberg said the mandatory towel policy was canceled and disposable gym wipes are provided at no cost to students.
Also at the top of Student Government's list was the suspension of the fee charged to international students. The $50 fee was lifted to maintain a positive relationship with those students, he said.
While international students got a break, the fall semester brought "a 5 percent increase in tuition for all students across the board," he said. According to Goldberg, this increase was brought on by an increase in wages for university employees and increases in fuel costs.
Even so, all was not lost for graduate students, Goldberg said. Student Government secured $20,000 in grants for graduate students in 2005.
For 2006, he said it is one of his goals to improve the health insurance benefits for graduate students, he said.
Goldberg said he would also like to continue to co-sponsor events with ACCENT and the Center for Performing Arts to bring entertainment to students at a low cost. This year's Gator Growl cost students $5 per ticket, and now students can see any show in the Center for Performing Arts for $10. The Reitz Union also provided Gator Nights, which attracted around 2,000 students, he said.
Goldberg said he will be spending a good part of the remainder of his term lobbying in Tallahassee. He said he is trying to stop changes to Bright Future scholarships and advocating block tuition. Block tuition would mean full-time students would pay for 15 hours of credit regardless how many they are actually taking.
Goldberg also intends to discuss expanding wireless connectivity on campus, extending the drop-add period and registering students to vote in the City Commission race.
"So much of what the city does affects so many students," Goldberg said.

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