- Identical bills have been introduced in the Florida House and Senate to strip pro-Palestine students of financial aid and in-state tuition fees.
- Students in groups like FSU Students for a Democratic Society are at the forefront of the fight against the bill.
- Watch now to hear from FSU SDS President Joelle Nunez on how students like him will respond.
Students speaking their minds may face financial consequences.
I'm Alberto Camargo in the Collegetown neighborhood.
Where several hundreds of students have spoken in support of Palestine and a ceasefire.
While backlash was expected, they never thought it could affect their track to graduation.
Florida State Students for a Democratic Society is an organization that has been at the forefront of pro-Palestine protests.
The conflict they are protesting stems from a war between Israel and Hamas.
Its president, Joelle Nunez says SDS is committed to exercising its First Amendment rights.
"Free speech is at the center of what we do."
Under the proposed Senate and House bills, students like Joelle would be at risk of losing financial aid and being charged out-of-state tuition fees.
That's a difference of thousands of dollars per semester at Florida State and Florida A&M.
"Yeah I don't think I'd be able to come here without financial aid."
Joelle says the new bill is a violation of students' rights and a scare tactic by lawmakers.
"This is like a blatant attempt to repress free speech on campus."
Earlier this month, Senator Blaise Ingoglia said he thinks public money should go elsewhere.
"State of Florida taxpayers, we should not be asking them to subsidize people who are terrorist sympathizers looking to wipe out the state of Israel."
He is also very passionate about the morality of the bill.
"If this bill passes into law I dare anyone to file a lawsuit on this, saying that its ok to give material support to a terrorist organization."
Nunez says the legislation will be met with plenty of resistance.
"I don't think it'll hold up. I think this is something that like. If it does end up passing, we're just going to have to fight it out."
The bill will be considered during the next legislative session in January. If passed, it would go into effect in July 2024.
In Collegetown, I'm Alberto Camargo, ABC27.