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Tuesday, December 05, 2023

The Student Alliance party formed this semester, but it earned more Senate seats than any minority party participating in Student Government elections since spring 2002.

The Student Alliance party won 20 out of the available 49 Senate seats, or about 41 percent of the available seats.

The Unite Party won 28 seats, and the remaining dentistry Senate seat went to Dusty Pfundheller with 76 write-in votes.

In the 2002 spring election, the Ignite Party, the minority party, won about 48 percent of Senate seats against the Swamp Party.

Minority parties participating in fall SG elections during the past 10 years have not earned more than about 32 percent of Senate seats.

Ben Cavataro, the former Student Alliance party candidate for Student Body president, said he could think of multiple reasons for his party’s success.

He said the Student Alliance party’s stance on the Reitz Union fee was a major point that attracted voters, but other platform points, such as setting up free printing labs in residence halls, were also major selling points for the party.

Sandy Vernon, the SG office manager for about 27 years, said she thinks the Student Alliance party did so well in the election because of all the hard work it put into its campaigning efforts.

Vernon said she saw a large number of Student Alliance party volunteers and candidates around campus handing out fliers and speaking with students.

Cavataro said the Student Alliance party definitely had more resources available during this election than other minority parties in the past five to seven years.

“I think we had a great deal of unity, which is a sign that the formation of our party was a success,” Cavataro said.

In an interview Monday Cavataro said Tuesday’s Senate meeting, during which the new senators were sworn in, would mark a positive shift for the university.

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Student Body President-elect Ashton Charles said the success of the minority party during this past election probably had a lot to do with students’ lack of education on the Reitz Union fee.

She said she is very proud of the Unite Party and hopes that the two parties can work well together in the future.

“I think it’s very important to focus on business within the chambers and leave personal things outside of it,” Charles said.

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