“I’m just thinking like, just because you ignore the question doesn’t make it go away,” said Christine Sane, junior political science major.
Sane is one of several NSU students who attended an open forum held by Florida Senator Blake Fake to address their concerns about several topics, including the need for immigration reform, a discussion about safety in schools and the possibility of nuclear war with North Korea.
“He’s our representative,” explained Sane. “So, we feel like, how can you represent us if you don’t know our concerns or what we want or if we don’t know how you stand on a particular issue?”
But this seems easier said than done. When sophomore business major Greg Standin asked why the senator hadn’t backed legislation that would have made the pathway to citizenship easier for immigrants, a wildly popular stance for the South Florida area according to polling, Blake refused to answer.
“Uh, next question,” responded the senator.
When Margaret Shrimp asked whether or not the senator would arrange a committee in the senate to help avoid a nuclear war with North Korea, the senator responded with only the phrase, “Hm.”
Finally, when Sane asked what would be done to ensure the safety in both college and grade-level schools, the senator said, “Excellent question, moving on.”
These are not partial quotes; that’s all he said.
Senator Fake isn’t the only representative to be short on answers, it’s part of a national trend, the cause of which experts are unsure about — although many speculate a mixture of apathy and incompetence. However, Fake has a reputation for blatantly ignoring his constituents.
In 2012, Senator Fake said that his main strategy for answering questions that hold him accountable for supporting partisan bills that the residents he represents don’t support is just to ignore the question.
“They’ll forget,” said Fake. “Trust me, they will forget.”
Except they haven’t. At least not students like Norma Person, a senior biology major, who’s continually advocated for laws to change. She pushed back at the senator for not answering her questions.
“We’re not going to forget a problem that impacts our everyday lives,” said Person. “I don’t understand why you won’t answer these questions.”
To which the senator responded, “Excellent feedback. I call this meeting adjourned.”