Editor’s note: The Alligator’s editorial board met with representatives from the three parties Sunday morning. We spoke about platform points and candidates’ goals. Our endorsements stem from these meetings.
Student Government at UF has always been laden with scandal, greed and self-interest. Although that didn’t change this semester, other factors did.
We saw the emergence of Challenge Party, after Janae Moodie resigned from Senate and left Impact Party. We saw Inspire Party grow and, unfortunately, we saw Impact remain the same. After considering the platforms, candidates and functionality of each party, we concluded the best choice for the Student Body is not one party, but two.
Getting voices from two parties to work in tandem, serving as a check and balance on each others’ goals and promises, will best serve students. It is for this reason we’re endorsing Challenge’s executive ticket and Inspire’s Senate ticket.
Janae Moodie, Shayli Patel and Chase Werther are competent women who demonstrate an obvious devotion to improving students’ lives. Their platform offers important ideas like a telemedicine option to serve students’ medical needs and the implementation of a waitlist system for full classes.
Sadly, we have reservations. We’re concerned about Moodie’s ability to remain professional in a tense political scenario and her vindictive attitude against Impact. However, she is the only presidential candidate with the boldness needed to revolutionize SG. We endorse Challenge’s executive ticket, but we do not endorse the party. While we respect and admire its radical approaches and its allegiance to veering away from the system that has been in place, Challenge lacks the structure and organization needed to effectively operate in Senate.
We could not commit to endorsing Inspire’s executive ticket because none of its candidates showed up to meet with The Alligator, sending a spokesperson in their place. Inspire’s platform aligns well with Challenge’s. Both draw attention to prevalent issues like creating a better environment for LGBTQ+ students and offering more services for undocumented students.
While we felt the executive ticket was weak, we were impressed by the party’s method of completing goals. For each point on its platform, Inspire forms a small committee to ensure each goal is met. They further exhibit an adherence to transparency, especially when it comes to ensuring senators will share progress on each point with students.
We also feel a need to explain why Impact was left out of our bipartisan endorsement. Impact’s platform focuses on luxury rather than necessity. It boasts efforts to supply campus restrooms with 2-ply toilet paper and to offer subsidized pricing for Uber Eats, but has no plans to implement online voting. The party wants bars in Midtown to stay open until later, but neglects the need for gender-inclusive residence halls or to improve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act on campus.
While it is true Impact’s platform does also mention some key demands like increasing access to mental health services and sexual assault prevention, we didn’t see anything unique. Every idea that was exclusively on its platform lacked substance.
In terms of Impact’s leadership, we were further let down. We found Ian Green does not come off as a leader and appears to speak only when spoken to. Moreover, he has a presence that is, to be frank, unimpressive and lackluster.
This is why we feel the strong leadership provided by the Challenge executive ticket and the structural supremacy we see in Inspire is the most effective combination to advocate for students. It’s a decision The Alligator’s editorial board went back and forth on, and while we don’t believe any candidate or party is perfect, we think this is the best option for students.
The Alligator's editorial board is made up of Melissa Gomez, editor-in-chief, Abigail Miller, opinions editor, Jimena Tavel, managing print and Caitlin Ostroff, managing online.