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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USF chapter.

If you’ve been going to college in Florida the past few weeks (especially at USF), then you have heard about Florida’s House Bill 999. The HB 999:  “revises powers and duties of BOG; revises academic and research excellence standards for preeminent state research universities; provides requirements for hiring university faculty; provides requirements for employment, promotion, and evaluation processes for state university employees; authorizes state university boards of trustees to review tenure status of faculty members; requires such boards to confirm selection and reappointment of specified personnel; requires state university presidents to annually present specified information to such boards; creates Institute for Risk Management & Insurance Education within College of Business at UCF; revises requirements for general education core courses”. 

You are probably reading that very confused but in layman’s terms it would ban state colleges and universities from using funds to “promote, support, or maintain any programs or campus activities that espouse diversity, equity, or inclusion [DEI] or Critical Race Theory rhetoric.” The bill would also give the state’s board of governors the ability to remove “any major or minor that is based on or otherwise utilizes pedagogical methodology associated with Critical Theory”. This is enough to worry any student at public university but the problem for USF is that we are a very diverse campus. It also would worry a USF student who is in Greek life, particularly the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) and National Pan-hellenic Council (NPHC) also known as the Divine Nine Organization.

The wording in HB 999 is very vague so many students worry that the bill could also be used to ban these greek organizations on campus as well. Not only could this bill potentially ban MGC and NPHC organizations but also courses in Jewish history, women’s studies and LGBTQ+ studies. Many students and faculty members have voiced their concern over the bill and have taken to Florida’s capitol to fight back against this bill. This bill could also affect what we are taught in the classrooms and how professors tackle teaching. Students now should warn other students who study DEI or hold DEI positions about this bill and what it could mean for them. Stand up for the MGC and NPHC members and what this bill could mean for them. The most important thing is to plan. Plan because it is very likely this bill becomes a law and if so, we as students need to secure our academic plans first.

pre-law | writer | lover of the finer things