Moral courage is finding the strength to act despite the consequences. As a student leader, if you choose to act with moral courage, you risk ending close friendships. You risk political retribution. You risk a loss of opportunities which could advance your career. Acting with moral courage is never the easiest path, but it is ultimately the correct one.
As I wrote this, I was at the U.S. Military Academy, attending the National Conference on Ethics in America. At the conference, I met a four-star general, who is a former chief of staff of the army. He discussed his perspective on why people abuse their power. He said, "Often those people who abuse their power lack the respect for the manner in which power is earned. These people truly haven't earned their power because they don’t recognize the root of that power: that others have entrusted them with that power and an understanding that power is earned.”
I have worked with many Student Government political parties over my four-year career as a student leader at UF. I have seen parties I am proud of, and I have seen some fail to put students first. I have known people who lacked the moral courage to push against their party when it failed to do what was best for the Student Body.
Moral courage is finding the strength to act despite the consequences. Today I choose to act by announcing my endorsements for this Spring election. While I am confident Janae Moodie and Revel Lubin would each serve as exceptional Student Body presidents, I have no confidence in the party organizations who are promoting them. I believe both of these organizations ultimately stand to promote their party brand over the lives of students.
As such, I am proud to support Ian Green for Student Body president, David Enriquez for Student Body vice president and Stefan Sanguyo for Student Body treasurer.
I have known Green and Enriquez for years, and I can speak to their moral character and commitment to the Student Body. Though I have just recently gotten to know Sanguyo, I can say without question he is the most qualified candidate for the office of Student Body treasurer, and he has my full support.
Students can vote at approved polling locations from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 20 and 21. I encourage all students to take the remaining time before the election to engage with the parties, to get informed and, most importantly, vote in this election.
Brandon Rosenthal is a UF computer science and engineering senior. He is the Benton Engineering Council president.