Correction (6/30/20 9:00pm) : A previous version of this article referred to Senate President Daraldik as a Semite. While he does in fact speak a Semitic language, the term “antisemitism” is a term that specifically refers to discrimination against Jewish people.
It’s been a rough month for Florida State’s student senate. An organization that typically flies under the radar in terms of campus controversy became rife with heated debate in two back to back votes of no confidence regarding Senate leaders.
Former SGA Senate president Jack Denton was removed from his position by fellow senators in a vote of no confidence after making derogatory comments about transgender students and the Black Lives Matter movement in a GroupMe for the Catholic Student Union.
Voted in swiftly to replace him, was Senator Ahmad Daraldik. Almost over night, the conversation over who was fit to lead the student Senate began all over again, as old Facebook comments dating as far back as 2013 were discovered — comments that were antisemitic.
This sparked a deeply personal conversation across the campus at Florida State. Many Jewish students expressed outrage, while others expressed solidarity with Senate President Daraldik, who grew up in Palestine.
In response to the surfacing of the comments, Daraldik apologized and explained the many hardships he went through growing up in Palestine. He described being tear gassed on his way to school as a young boy and being profiled, harassed, and robbed at an Israeli checkpoint when attempting to re-enter Palestine to visit family. He explained the many hardships that had led to his miseducation as a child of the Jewish people and his newfound solidarity with the community today.
After several hours of public comment and a second vote of no confidence, the SGA Senate voted to keep Ahmad Daraldik as Senate President.
After apologizing during the senate meeting over his removal, Daraldik released a full written apology today. The statement offers not just a “sorry,” but also a review of Daraldik’s past voting record in which he affirmed resolutions to condemn antisemitism on campus and his plan moving forward with the Jewish community.
Read the full statement below :