Here's The Scoop On FSU's The Amplify Movement For SGA Elections

Here's The Scoop On FSU's The Amplify Movement For  SGA Elections

A unified voice advocating for students without voices.

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A student-led initiative at Florida State University, the Amplify Movement, is on a mission "to expand the unique and distinct voices of each student at Florida State University through advocacy, engagement, and most importantly, action." With Student Government Association (SGA) elections coming up for Florida State University, I spoke with three very important members of Amplify, President Evan Steinberg, Vice President Stephanie Lee, and Treasurer Caleb Dawkins to get a better understanding of the movement and what they plan to accomplish if they're elected.

The movement's platform is simple yet impactful: advocate for student voices; engage the student body; expand campus safety initiatives; promote awareness and transparency; accountability; and further the Florida State strategic plan. The main goal is to advocate for students who feel underrepresented in the community. "We are such a diverse group, not only in the Amplify Movement but on campus," said Caleb. "We all come from different backgrounds and have different needs, so we want to make sure those 42,000 different voices are heard." As a minority myself, it's comforting to know that there are people that want to voice my needs and find ways to satisfy them.

But what about for those students who don't know what SGA can do for them, students like myself? Many of the students at Florida State University are unaware of the benefits of SGA, either directly or indirectly.

According to Stephanie, "We want to bring our resources and our knowledge to students. We've all been a part of other associations and clubs, so we know the basics of SGA, but most students don't, so we want to help them find the resources they need." In my opinion, I think that this is an important feature, as many students may think about getting involved but have no idea how to start. Additionally, many students may not even have an inkling whatsoever as to what SGA does for the student body, I think that making the knowledge more accessible is crucial, so that students can understand how their decisions and actions may or may not be affected by SGA.

"We want to ensure that we're hearing every voice on campus," said Evan, "and it's difficult when many students aren't represented. There are so many communities and groups, so we want to reach out and cover everything. It's so rewarding when we're able to advocate for everyone and know that people's needs are met." According to Stephanie, in support of their advocacy of all the students at FSU, they are even working with the "Pride Student Union to create gender-inclusive housing." And it doesn't stop there, they also work to support students with intellectual disabilities. If you ask me, they truly have everyone in mind when making their decisions. It's not just about what is best for them and their movement but rather, the thousands of students at our beautiful campus.

In addition, the Amplify Movement is also looking to better our textbook-buying. As a fellow college student, I know that I myself struggle to pay for textbooks, on top of the amounting tuition. Textbooks are expensive, especially when you account for how many classes a student may take and that one class may require more than one textbook. "We want to have professors put the costs of textbooks in their syllabus, as well as encourage professors to change to open educational resources," Evan said. This means that instead of using a textbook, students can access their information online, with the ability to print PDF versions of texts. "It's hard to sell a textbook back when the professor has switched to a newer edition, too," reminded Stephanie.

This would require professors to make textbook edition updates less frequent, as they usually hold the same information. In general, I appreciate the sentiment, especially since I've had my own teachers tell me that despite advertising the current version of the book, they don't care which version I actually use as it is virtually all the same. However, I also find how this can be problematic, as certain disciplines cannot be studied without the most up-to-date information, especially in fields such as health or science. If we're grooming our students to be the best doctors they can be, wouldn't you argue that you want them to hold more current knowledge, rather than what was known and considered five years ago? In our ever-changing world of technology and innovation, new discoveries are not unfounded.

Caleb Dawkins

So why did these three leaders take on such a big task, like leading a whole movement? According to Stephanie, it was accidental; she was in the Asian-American Student Union and felt that she needed a platform to really voice what she wanted and needed. "Being a minority on campus, you kind of feel underrepresented, but we're trying to change that now," she said. Both Evan and Caleb had been involved in SGA for many years in high school and felt that it was only right to continue in college. "I wanted it to be a new experience to grow, and now I'm watching my community and movement grow, and it's amazing," said Evan. "I agree," added Caleb, "the growth is great. I've been in student government since 7th grade and I really enjoy representing all different students. Evan actually talked to me about joining SGA my freshman year at FSU, and the rest is history."

Their vision is clear and their goals are achievable. These three remarkable and passionate leaders, along with their talented and determined team, want to amplify the voices of every Florida State student to celebrate their diverse and unique experiences while addressing their needs with tailored strategies and an individualistic approach. Student veterans, religious observances, gender inclusive housing, and ensuring affordable textbooks for students are just some of the many wonderful things the Amplify Movement hopes to achieve. It's hard to find a reason to hate this trio and what they stand for.

What did they have to say to their opponents in the Unite Party and the Legacy Party? Stephanie said that regardless of how the elections play out, everyone should follow through with their goals and passions, "we need to work together to strive for a better student government." Evan said that even though eco-friendliness and sustainability aren't on their platform, as the Unite Party, "it's on our mind and something we want to work on. It's hard to find what's going to be on our platform without overwhelming students." Upon further questioning, Caleb also mentioned that the Amplify Movements plans on partnering with the Office of Sustainability.

While the Amplify Movement may lack certain aspects in their approach that the Unite Party and the Legacy Party might have, these things, as well as even additional ones, are not far from their mind. If you ask me, they're starting small and slowly gaining the momentum to do more and more. We all know that big changes don't just happen in the instance of a second. It takes time, dedication, and hard work - all of which are qualities I see in these three student leaders. And from what I've gathered in my interview, the Amplify Movement truly is working to amplify your voices. So keep in mind ladies and gentleman, your voice, opinions, wants, and needs are the priority to Stephanie, Caleb, and Evan.

Student Government Elections are February 20th, 2019 and voting ends at 7 p.m. Be sure to get out and vote! #AmplifyFSU.

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Let's Talk More About Lori Laughlin Facing Up To 20 Years In Prison When Brock Turner Got 6 Months

And he was released three months early for 'good behavior'... after sexually assaulting an unconscious girl behind a dumpster.

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To start, Lori Laughlin messed up royally, and I don't condone her actions.

If you live under a rock and are unaware of what happened to the "Full House" star, here's the tea:

Lori Laughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli — and like 50 other celebrity parents — were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud, and paid a $1 million bail on conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and honest services fraud. You don't need to know what these mean except that she paid $500,000 to get her two daughters, Bella and Olivia Jade Giannulli.

I know you're wondering why they did it — tbh I am too — however, these parents paid the University of Southern California to give admission to her daughters in through the rowing team on campus, despite neither one of them actually playing the sport ever in their life.

Yeah, Aunt Becky messed up and should face punishment, but why is she facing up 20 years when men like Brock Turner are sentenced only six months for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford?

I hate to bring up the gender card, but I'm pulling it: Why is Lori Laughlin — a woman who with bad judgement who used money to give an upper-hand to her entitled daughters — face more prison time than a man who willingly raped a woman who wasn't in a right state of mine (or any at all!) behind a dumpster of all places.

The answer? Because the system is a mess.

Yeah, Aunt Becky paid for her daughters to get into a school, giving disadvantages to students actually deserving and wanting to attend a college. Her act was immoral, and ultimately selfish, but it doesn't even compare to what Brock Turner did, and it doesn't even effect others as much his rape survivor.

The most that will happen to the Giannulli girls is an expulsion and a temporary poor reputation, however, Emily Doe (the alias of the survivor) will feel the consequences of the attack forever.

There should have been a switch:

Lori Laughlin and the Target guy should have had to pay other students tuition/student debt while facing prison time, while Brock Turner should have had to face over 20 years with more consequences.

But, that'll never happen because our system sucks and society is rigged. I guess our society would prefer a rapist walking around more so a woman who made a poor choice by paying for her daughters to go to a college.

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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