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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

New leaders of SG organizations like Accent Speakers Bureau and Student Government Productions will be chosen tonight.

The SG Executive Board — which consists of the Student Body president, vice president, treasurer, Senate President and Senate President Pro-Tempore — selected 43 candidates for agencies, secretaries and cabinets after weeks of deliberation. The Replacement and Agenda committee voted Monday to recommend them, and the list of nominees will go before the Student Senate tonight.

Student Body treasurer Elliot Grasso said about 150 people applied overall. When choosing who to recommend, Grasso said the board looked for experience, knowledge and qualifications.

Appointments to Accent and SGP have historically caused controversy. They control a total of about $1.2 million in student funds, and they are typically among the few SG officials who receive salaries.

Debate is common at Spring Senate meetings where the recommendations are ratified.

Former Sen. David Bradshaw’s 2013 thesis alleged they are legacy positions that stay within certain fraternities. Past articles in the Gainesville Sun (2010) and the Alligator (2005) drew similar conclusions. In both stories, SG officials denied favoritism.

Recent Alligator research revealed 22 of the past 25 Accent chairmen have been members of UF’s Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter. The recommended 2014-2015 candidate, Corey Flayman, is also in AEPi, according to his application.

UF Theta Chi’s website says 10 brothers have been SGP chairmen, and Alligator research confirmed that for the past six years, a Theta Chi brother has led the agency. An exception was in 2011-2012, when there were two chairmen — one was in Theta Chi, and the other was in Phi Delta Theta.

This year, two students have been recommended as co-chairs for SGP: Theta Chi brother Bradley Wheeler and Tau Epsilon Pi brother Jonathan Schonfeld.

Grasso said the board does not look at house affiliations for executive positions but rather candidates’ experience and ideas.

“For Accent, there was only one applicant,” he said. “You can’t base allegations on the applicant pool if the only applicant is AEPi.”

Grasso said the positions were well-advertised and open to all students. Overall, six positions were left open.

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Senate President Pro-Tempore Joseph Michaels said some, like the Innovation Academy cabinet director and technology executive secretary, had no applicants. For other vacant positions, Michaels said the board kept the spots available for more qualified applicants.

[A version of this story ran on page 1 on 4/22/2014 under the headline "SG leaders for Accent, SGP to be chosen tonight"]

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