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UF students create mural to protest bill that would limit student aid programs to certain majors

Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 6:34 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - University of Florida students came together to paint a mural on 34th street in Gainesville to protest SB 86, a bill that will revamp postsecondary financial aid programs, like the Bright Futures Scholarship Program, to target majors that lead directly to employment.

Sociology major, Alondra Arce, said she feels all majors matter the same.

“I don’t think they should put a numerical value on your major and whether or not it leads directly to employment,” Arce said. “There is a place in society for social workers for healthcare professionals for artists, for musicians.”

“We encourage all students to pursue their passions, but when it comes to taxpayer subsidized education, there needs to be a link to our economy, and that is the goal of this legislation.” said Sen. Dennis Baxley, in a February 23rd press release.

Arce doesn’t believe this is fair to all majors.

“I feel like this bill is putting those majors in a cast-like system where stem majors are on top with the humanities on the bottom and I don’t think that’s right,” Arce said.

Students say the mural is a play on the Bright Futures Scholarship logo to let everyone including Sen. Baxley know that all majors deserve equal opportunities.

“I just hope that he considers all of those things,” Arce said. “There is a petition that has over 50 thousand signatures, so it shows that it’s not just me, it’s not just a couple of us that are against this bill, it’s thousands and thousands of people. So, I hope the Florida senate really considers this.”

The bill is scheduled to be heard by the senate education committee on Tuesday, but students said they won’t stop fighting to save their bright futures.

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