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Friday, September 22, 2023

Slating for Student Senate positions closed Tuesday with 595 applicants for 50 seats.

Student Government Supervisor of Elections Toni Megna said the number was not a huge surprise.

"I think this election is going to be very competitive, and [the parties] were expecting a lot of people to come out," she said.

Each semester the Student Body elects 50 new senators.

Megna said she tallied 505 Unite Party candidates, 37 Students Party candidates, five independent candidates and 37 candidates who did not indicate a party preference.

Candidates indicated if they were running under a political party on the sign-in sheet.

As soon as they finished qualifying, candidates who ran under a party were interviewed by party members.

Megna said Unite Party and Students Party members choose 50 or fewer candidates to support. Final numbers were not available at press time.

Students running independently do not undergo interviews.

Of the 50 senators to be elected this fall, one student will represent each of the 13 dorm areas, and 37 students will represent off-campus residential districts.

Student Body elections are scheduled for Sept. 27 and 28.

Former Senate Minority Leader Jonathan Ossip sat at the Students Party table. He said the candidate turnout had been "pretty good" so far.

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"The candidates have been extremely qualified," he said.

Students were able to participate in qualifying and slating from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Tuesday in the Reitz Union.

Exploratory freshman Kayla King interviewed for slating with the Unite Party. King said she was her high school's senior class president, and she has been involved in SG since she was in fifth grade.

She learned about the Senate from Unite Party members advertising in the Reitz Union. King said her Delta Zeta sorority sisters explained the system and encouraged her to slate when she asked them about it.

King said she wanted to learn about how UF runs and who does what.

"I might as well just get involved and find out on my own," she said.


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