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Monday, May 23, 2022

Student Government election results approved; new Senate officials elected

Student Government Senate ushered in change Tuesday night as senators unanimously approved the spring election results and replaced outgoing senators.

They elected Judiciary Chairman Aundre Price as the new Senate president and Rules and Ethics Chairman Logan Harrison as the new president pro tempore.

Price said he is UF’s first black Senate president.

Former Senate President Andy Mason and former President pro tempore Jason Tiemeier both resigned from the Senate a semester early.

Mason said after the meeting that it was time for him to make room for new representatives. He said he plans to stay involved with SG.

Both officers thanked their peers and encouraged them to put in the necessary effort and take away a good experience.

Last week, two students and a source affiliated with the Unite Party identified Tiemeier as the man in a Unite Party shirt who threw away hundreds of copies of the Alligator during election campaigning.

In an interview, he said Senate officers hold their positions for one semester, and it’s rare to stay on to serve only as a senator.

He said he didn’t want to run for Senate president.

“There’s no real reason why,” he said.

Supervisor of Elections Toni Megna also spoke before the election results were approved. She said the Election Commission will be meeting one more time to decide if they want to make any minor election changes, such as altering language on the ballots.

Before the new senators were sworn in, outgoing senators and remaining veterans gave advice to the younger set.

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“The more you put in [to Senate], the more you’ll get out of it,” said budget Chairwoman Christina Bonarrigo.

Mason spoke about the loss of mentors in the SG office this semester. However, he said he knows the future of the Senate is bright.

He encouraged all the new senators to make a difference on campus.

“Compromise isn’t always a bad thing,” he said.

Diversity — both racial and political — were the themes of the night.

Former Allocations Chairman Joe Pardo echoed Mason.

“It’s a priceless opportunity to learn how to deal with people you might not get along with,” he said.

Student Body President-elect Tj Villamil also spoke about being the first Hispanic Student Body president elected.

“I could not be more proud to represent diversity on this campus,” he said.

Former Students Party presidential candidate Alex Cornillie also urged senators not to let partisan politics get in the way of the ideas on both parties’ platforms.

“I think there is a lot more common ground than discord between the two parties,” Cornillie said.

Villamil and Cornillie announced they had met earlier Tuesday. They both said they were happy with voter turnout. A record 10,644 ballots were cast in the election.

“We really want to stress that we are all Gators,” Villamil said.

Contact Clare Lennon at clennon@alligator.org and Samantha Shavell at sshavell@alligator.org.

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