Student Senate supports lowering student loan rates


Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

The University of Florida's Student Senate passed a bill Tuesday night supporting House Resolution 5, which would cut interest rates on federal student loans in half, reducing the rate from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are expected to push House Resolution 5, also called the College Student Relief Act of 2007, while in session today. Although the plan falls short of a proposal they promoted nearly a year ago.

"An enormous amount of students come out of school with huge debts," said Swamp Party leader John Clayton Brett, emphasizing the importance of the resolution. "The average American college student graduates with $17,500 in debt."

Student Government officials from UF first traveled to Washington, D.C., in July to meet with members of the House, Senate and other government officials about lowering interest rates.

"We're finally making progress with this resolution," Brett said. "Nearly every senator runs with student advocacy on their platform so the passage of this resolution is crucial."

In addition to Brett, the other two authors of the bill supporting H.R. 5 are Lobby Coordinator Jason Lutin and Sen. Gavin Baker.

In other business, the senate passed a resolution congratulating the 2006 National Champion Gators football team on its tremendous season, which was capped off by the second national championship victory in 100 years of UF football.

"This resolution is a concrete way to show the athletic association how appreciative all of the students are," Senate President Josh Weiss said. "It also serves as recognition for all of the hard work they have done."

As the author of the resolution, Weiss said he plans to frame a copy of it and present it to the UF athletic association.

The Senate also passed a bill to transfer $39,817 from reserves to the Health Outreach Assembly for interdisciplinary trips, an amount which represents a 25 percent decrease from the 2005-2006 HOA budget.

In addition, a special request was passed to grant the Navy Marine Student Association $1,971 for its drill competition at Tulane University.

The committee chairs also presented reports to the senate with their goals for the semester.

The meeting marked the first senate meeting of the spring semester since last week's meeting was canceled because of the national championship football game.

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