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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Two UF students, each vying to be called Swamp Party president, are still playing the name game after bickering over which of them has the right to the party's name.

In a second hearing at 8 a.m. Friday, Student Government's Elections Commission ruled the "The Party Formerly Known as Swamp" name might confuse voters.

The name was deemed too similar to the Swamp Party's name.

"It's a play off the name of Prince," The Party Formerly Known as Swamp President Sam Miorelli said at the hearing. "I don't see how anyone could be confused at all. It's not an optical illusion."

The commission asked Miorelli to change its name. He chose the Florida Students Party.

But the decision was nullified Friday when officials from the Center for Student Involvement revoked their Thursday decision to strip then-Swamp Party President Miorelli of the name.

Miorelli said CSI officials told him they decided to leave their earlier decision up to the commission.

"As of right now, I am asserting that I am Swamp Party president," Miorelli said.

The decision gave the Swamp Party name to Keith Hardwick. Hardwick, who was registered as the Swamp Party president in the spring, had the first shot to register the name again, according to CSI elections rules.

"I want to protect the party name that I served under, the party name that is near and dear to my heart," Hardwick said Thursday.

Miorelli responded by changing his party's name to The Party Formerly Known as Swamp, prompting Hardwick to file a complaint about the similarities between the two party names.

The complaint led to the commission's Friday morning decision.

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Miorelli said the commission would give the party name to either him or Hardwick at a 5 p.m. commission hearing today.

In the meantime, Miorelli said he has asked the Student Body Supreme Court to cancel candidate qualification today, since students won't know what parties they're applying for due to the name confusion.

"How can we expect students to come out and slate when they don't know and we don't know what the names of these parties are?" Miorelli asked.

Jessica Gavrich, chief justice of the Supreme Court, said a decision would be made at a meeting Monday morning.

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