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STUDENT SENATE Bill 2012-XXXX Title: Resolution of the UF Student Senate in Response to an Incident Involving the Improper Portrayal

of the Black Community Authors: W. Truman Williams III, Senate President Christina Bonarrigo, Chairman Cayman Weimer, Senate Cabinet Liaison S. Andrew Garcia Sponsors: Senator Davis Bean. Senator Justin Shifrin, Senator Tania Saade, Senator Max Fin, Senator Sydney Kaplan, Senator Frank Plageman IV WHEREAS, During an off-campus, rock stars and rappers themed event held on October 24, 2012, the uneducated choice was made by two students of the University of Florida to paint their faces black as part of their costumes; and, WHEREAS, In an article published by the Orlando Sentinel on October 26, 2012, author Denise-Marie Ordway described the dress attire of the two students as donning thick gold chains, baseball caps and pants that hang so low they show their boxer shorts; and, WHEREAS, Pictures documenting the two students dress attire and black painted faces during the event were posted to Facebook as well as distributed via other means of social media; and WHEREAS, The dress attire, black face-paint, and caricatures of the two students depicts a false portrayal of the Black community at both the University of Florida as well as the world at large; and, WHEREAS, The term Blackface has been utilized in numerous historical accounts of American history to depict the theatrical practice of using makeup in combination with dress, speech and character to perpetuate racist stereotypes toward both African American and Black communities; and, WHEREAS, The stain of Blackface caricature has also been documented in the history of other countries, including the United Kingdom; and, WHEREAS, Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, American history has documented the usage of Blackface theatrical makeup during various minstrel shows and Vaudeville of the time in a manner which perpetuates racist stereotypes toward both the African American and Black communities; and, WHEREAS, Usage of Blackface caricature has been historically associated with the intent to perpetuate racist stereotypes toward the African American and Black communities; and, WHEREAS, Dr. Christopher P. Lehmans 2007 monograph, The Colored Cartoon: Black Representation in American Animated Short Films, references and examines the usage of blackface caricatures in early to mid-20th century American Animated Short Films; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Lehman monograph states, Through the blackface gag, cartoons depict the image of the African American as the image of an other; and, WHEREAS, On October 25, 2012, Dave Kratzer, Vice President for Student Affairs, sent out a message to students of the University of Florida which stated, We work very hard to create a welcoming environment for all students, faculty and staff, including all racial and ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs or sexual orientations; and, WHEREAS, Dave Kratzers message also stated, The University of Florida will continue its efforts to educate students on the importance of inclusivity and diversity; and, WHEREAS, The University of Florida Student Senate is dedicated to efforts set at educating students of the importance of inclusivity and diversity and ought to warrant palpable legislation towards that objective herein and henceforth; then, THEREFORE, LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED That the University of Florida Student Senate believes that employment of Blackface caricature in contemporary society ought to be viewed as running counter to the value which the University of Florida places on each and every member of the Gator Nation as well as persons of the world at large; and, THEREFORE, LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED That the University of Florida Student Senate does not condone any hateful dissemination of speech, wearing of clothing, painting of face, or action made by a student of the University of Florida which constitutes the perpetuation of racist stereotypes as to do so would compromise the value which the University of Florida holds for each and every member of the Gator Nation as well as members of the world at large; and, THEREFORE, LET IT BE FINALLY RESOLVED That the University of Florida Student Senate supports a cultural awareness training course for all faculty, staff and students. Proviso: A copy of this bill shall be sent to the University President and the Vice President for Student Affairs