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Byline: Adam Emerson
Sep. 18--Student governments at Florida universities sometimes resemble a Shakespearean tragedy.
Accusations of deceit and betrayal. Resignations and threats of impeachment. Win-at-all-costs presidential campaigns.
This isn't the cutthroat world of Beltway politics. Some say it is worse. But amid the controversies, there are serious responsibilities: Student governments control millions in student fees. Student presidents lobby governors and state lawmakers, and they all hold positions on the boards of their universities.
But the powerful roles of student leaders can unravel quickly.
Consider the fall of University of South Florida student government President Barclay Harless, who recently resigned after the university investigated reports he allowed alcohol in his office this summer in violation of campus policy.
If Harless hadn't stepped down, though, student members of his cabinet would have tried forcing him out.
"It's like a high school drama," said Harless, 22, in an interview on campus last week.
Such upheaval isn't unique to USF, however. Student governments at the state's 11 public universities routinely stir up unrest, despite the best intentions to improve campus life.
The president of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton nearly disbanded the …