USFSM students display their Bulls pride as they visited Tallahassee this week.

USF System students invade state capitol

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: February 15, 2019

SARASOTA, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2019) – Florida’s state capitol was awash in green and gold this week as close to 200 University of South Florida System students, alumni and administrators traveled to Tallahassee for “Day at the Capitol.”

The group, which included two dozen USF Sarasota-Manatee students and more from USF’s campuses in Tampa and St. Petersburg, met with legislators to advocate for the university and experience government’s inner-workings as part of the annual event. Students toured the state House and Senate chambers, the Supreme Court and met with lawmakers in their offices.

“This is my third time attending and every time I learn something new as we continue to exhibit our pride in attending USF,” said USFSM student Sami Araboghli. “We get to see firsthand the hard work that our legislators put in in order to have one of the best higher educational institutions in the state.”

USF System students invade state capitol

USFSM student Lukas Oest, right, and USF President Dr. Judy Genshaft met with state Sen. Ed Hooper.

USFSM students packed three vans Tuesday morning for the six-hour trip northward. Araboghli was part of a group that met Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton), Rep. James Buchanan (R-North Port) and staff representing Rep. Tommy Gregory (R-Bradenton) and Sen. Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota).

Other students met with other House and Senate members. Some toured the Supreme Court. USFSM senior Lukas Oest was part of a contingent that met with Sen. Dennis Baxley (R-Lady Lake) and Sen. Ed Hooper (R-Palm Harbor). He was joined on the tour by USF President Dr. Judy Genshaft.

“My favorite moment of the trip was a photo op with retiring USF President Dr. Genshaft and Sen. Hooper,” Oest said. “I felt like the photo spoke volumes: Two individuals who make decisions that profoundly affect our university and a student who has been impacted by those decisions.”

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