Conor Moore | Assistant Opinion Director
Thank the FIU gods that 2023 is over. Regardless of where you stand or land, I think we can all agree that fall 2023 was a rollercoaster beginning to end.
From protests to lively debate in Instagram comments sections, there wasn’t a dull moment last semester.
In a shocking turn of events, and by that I mean shocking lack of budget, Panthermonium was canceled before the semester even started, leaving many incoming freshmen without FIU’s traditional way to get the party started.
Panthermonium 2019 | Via FIU Flickr
The Board of Trustees also added a few new members, one of which was totally not a millionaire donor to DeSantis.
Another notable event was Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to FIU. Despite a two-hour delay in perhaps the coldest building in existence, she spoke at length (just kidding, only 45 minutes) about several issues affecting the country and Florida, such as abortion and voting rights.
Vice President Harris at FIU | Angela Alvarez, PantherNOW
In more heartwarming news, the Disabled Student Union was recognized as an official bureau by the student government. Refreshing in a state that is only sometimes good at diversity, equity and inclusion.
Our student government got up to a little and then a lot in a short period of time. Things started off pretty rough, with just around half of all senators showing up to every meeting early in the semester (they still get paid, by the way, with your tuition money).
But then, things got a bit more spirited when Israel-Palestine discourse reached FIU. Ceasefire Now! became the talk of the town when dozens of students entered the SGA Senate chambers for the first time in their lives, causing the snoozing senators to wake up and finally start doing their jobs.
And then the resolution got stuck. Maybe everyone’s already forgotten about it by now. Isn’t that how politics works? We’ll see what happens next.
Students gather to demonstrate their positions on “Ceasefire Now!” at the Nov. 27 senate | Samuel Larreal, PantherNOW
But not everything was politics. The annual Walk on Water event went swimmingly (sorry), with scores of contestants racing to the finish line.
Photo panels from various years of the walk on water event | Kaysea Suzana, PantherNOW
Lest we forget the housing shortage for international students, too. While FIU is off building who knows what, there are students on the verge of homelessness. Stellar job on priorities.
Pro-Palestine demonstrators gathered in front of Graham Center | Samuel Larreal, PantherNOW
But 2023 left us one final gift: an alumna was arrested for her alleged participation in the January 6 Capitol riots.
“Barbara Balmaseda: From political circles to Capitol chaos.” | Via Balmaseda’s Arrest Warrant
At least you, reader, now know what not to do with your FIU degree.