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Comic relief: Write-ins promise justice for marginalized Greek members

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Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2014 11:53 pm

We are Ian Matthews and Stephanie Kirkpatrick, and we are running as write-in candidates for Student Body president and vice president, respectively.

Like most of you, we were dismayed to learn that only one party’s candidates for the offices would appear on this week’s ballot. Before the election was even held, it was clear that members of fraternities and sororities would again go unrepresented in Student Government and ignored by its legislation.

We are running to put an end to this travesty. No longer will GDIs and graduate students trample the rights of the Greek system, shutting us out of the halls of power. No longer will they be able to use their methods of coercion to drive up turnout and ensure an anti-Greek administration. No longer will they extort from our houses $250 checks just for an impotent seat at the table.

Instead, we will be sure to place Greeks front and center. We will only charge $200 from each house for a voice, and we will be sure to make it heard. The alcohol we use as bribes will be of top-shelf quality, rather than plastic handles of Popov. And let us be clear: We will include mixers, and they will be delivered cold.

You may wonder what our qualifications for office are. Unfortunately, both being members of the Greek system, we have had no opportunities to hold elective office or to be appointed to a position within SG. However, Ian owns two suits and has a respectable haircut, and he plans to earn a spot in his father’s law firm after graduation.

Stephanie, although only coming from modest, upper-middle class means, has managed to stand out in the campus community through clubs and academics. Though she is driven to excel in both school and life, she respects traditional gender roles and volunteered for the vice president slot rather than run as president over Ian.

We could make a lot of hollow promises to you and pretend like we care about the Student Body as a whole, like the Swamp Party does, so we will. We will make sure the library stays open Friday and Saturday nights for those GDIs who don’t have a social life. We will institute a bike-sharing program for students who, for some reason, don’t own scooters.

Graduate students, you also have demands that we will eventually find out about. We assure you that we have said these things, and we thoroughly believe that we have said them.

We members of fraternities and sororities will already face disadvantages come graduation. Please join us on Tuesday and Wednesday, and give our people a fighting chance here at the University of Florida.

[Ian Matthews is a UF business junior, and Stephanie Kirkpatrick is a UF classics senior. A version of this column ran on page 7 on 2/17/2014 under the headline "Comic relief: Write-ins promise justice for marginalized Greek members"]

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