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Saturday, April 17, 2021

The fall Student Government election will soon kick into high gear now that political party registration ended today.

Five parties have registered for the fall election: the Gator, Swamp, Greek, Impact and Progress parties.

This election determines who will represent on-campus residence areas and off-campus housing districts in the Student Senate.

Forty-seven seats, half the Senate, will be up for grabs Oct. 2 to Oct. 3.

Yooni Yi, Gator Party president, said her party hopes to continue its spring success, when it won 44 of the 47 Student Senate seats.

Gator is not releasing its specific platform yet, but Yi said the party wants to continue its past focus on "tangible goals."

Greek Party President William Foster said his party also plans to run prospective senators for every seat.

Foster declined to comment on his party's platform but said, "The Greek Party looks forward to running a clean and vigorous campaign."

"I expect to have fun because this is my last semester here," he said.

During the spring election, Foster spurred a controversy that almost lost the Pants Party its sole seat by handing out "I Voted" stickers after appearing in a Pants video advertisement.

The case went to the SG Supreme Court, which allowed the sole Pants senator - Alan Passman - to keep his seat.

This summer, the Senate gave SG's Supervisor of Elections and his designees sole power to distribute materials indicating a student has voted. This includes the stickers given to students after they cast their votes.

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It also allowed for the Elections Commission to determine party affiliations during election cycles or hearings.

The Swamp Party is the only other party to confirm its plans to run a campaign.

"The Swamp Party is a serious party," said Sam Miorelli, Swamp Party president. "We're in it to win."

Miorelli said the Swamp platform wasn't finalized, but the party would focus on "old values from past parties."

Miorelli was a part of the Pants Party. Pants advocated for issues such as free condoms, better busing for students and restructuring SG's legislative branch.

"One of our main goals is to be very upfront about what we're doing," he said. "We want the idea of Student Government as being open, not taking place in some smoke-filled rooms in phantom, hidden locations."

He said many people in SG encouraged him to start up the party again, but he would not specify whom.

The remaining two parties, Impact and Progress, didn't confirm whether they would be active.

Frank Bracco, treasurer of the Impact Party, said Impact was not offering any comments at this time. More information would be available when candidate qualifying begins on Friday, Bracco said.

Records from the Center for Student Involvement listed Joseph Trimboli as the Progress Party's president with Joshua Niederriter as treasurer.

Neither could be reached for comment.

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