Florida governor proposes 'bill of rights' to protect college students against strict COVID policies

The “bill of rights” would protect students from being thrown out of college for socializing and gathering in groups.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has proposed a “bill of rights” to protect college students’ rights with respect to coronavirus guidelines.

The governor of Florida has proposed a college “bill of rights” that would protect students from 12 public universities in Florida from facing consequences for socializing. 

Governor Ron DeSantis announced he’s willing to consider a “bill of rights” to ensure college students would be able to enjoy themselves during the semester. 

This announcement was in conjunction with his decision to move Florida to Phase 3 of its reopening plan, where he suspended mask fines, and reopened bars and restaurants across the state. 

In a news conference, DeSantis said “he personally think[s] it’s incredibly draconian that a student would get potentially expelled for going to a party. That’s what college kids do.”

Florida college student Alejandro Puga told Campus Reform that he believes this is a step in the right direction.

“I think Governor Desantis is doing the right thing to introduce a Bill of Rights, Universities have already taken strict measures pushing for a majority of classes to be online, having a mandatory mask mandate, and adhering to CDC social distancing guidelines,” Puga said.

Colleges across the state of Florida have been cracking down on students during the fall semester for not abiding by certain guidelines laid out by each respective university. 

Recently, police broke up a party near Florida State University with more than 1,000 people. The gathering was at an apartment complex near the FSU campus. 

The University of Florida has installed a new feature in its Gator Safe App to allow students to report and turn each other in for not following social distancing guidelines and mask policies. 

As reported by Campus Reform, the University of South Florida banned clubs from meeting in person on and off campus. However, the school would still welcome fans in their football stadium during their games.

Puga believes these actions taken by public universities are crossing the line when it comes to personal freedom on college campuses across the state of Florida.

Puag said: “For the Universities to expel students for things they do on their own time outside of campus is just wrong, students who go out and “enjoy themselves” are personally responsible with their health and most are already following CDC guidelines. I think what the Governor is doing is correct to defend the individual students personal freedom.”

Campus Reform reached out to Governor Ron DeSantis’ Communications Office about when the “bill of rights” would be issued and whether or not it would be issued in the form of an executive order. 

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