According to reports received early this morning, the UCF Student Government has shut down because the senate could not agree on key healthcare issues by the Friday 11:59 pm deadline. The senate spent over two hours Friday afternoon deliberating the ethical implications of UCF’s Health Center fee for students and SGA’s level of involvement in such a fee. The fee is marketed by UCF administration as a way to ensure students receive comprehensive, accessible healthcare during their time at the university.
This vote was crucial to getting the spring budget passed. In light of the shutdown, many SGA funded items and events, such as registered student organization merchandise and the spring concert, will be put on standby until the senators can come to a consensus on healthcare funding. However, it’s unlikely this agreement will happen soon as the two factions within UCF’s student government have been at odds since the motion passed allowing the University to deport out of state students.
“Healthcare is a right. The fact that we’re still having this argument in 2018 is abysmal. This administration doesn’t see the value of a healthy student body,” fumed College of Arts and Humanities Senator Rafael Ramirez. “They want people to get sick so fewer people show up to class and there are more parking spots available. This is just one big government conspiracy.”
College of Business Senator Samantha Wittinger has a different view on the issue. “Look, we’re already paying a hefty fee for tuition. Why should my money go to providing healthcare for some freshman who thought it was a good idea to skateboard with his eyes closed?”
An SGA shut down also means that some employees of the University – primarily those who work in the Student Union and the Recreation and Wellness Center – won’t receive paychecks. Members of the executive branch, such as President Nick Larkins, will continue to get paid throughout the shut down.
Funding for tangentially related health services is also expected to come to a halt, most notably regular maintenance of public restrooms. To compensate, the University will be adopting a strict bring-your-own-soap policy, as well as a pay-per-flush payment model. However, the cost of installing and maintaining card readers onto individual toilets throughout campus facilities is projected to far surpass income from the new flush charges.
It should be noted that SGA is not responsible for funding student healthcare. In fact, few people on campus, including the members of the organization itself, know exactly what SGA is responsible for. It appears that nobody has informed SGA of this as of 1:15pm; UCF political analysts predict that the shutdown will last long after anyone tells them what is actually going on.