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Friday, February 03, 2023

Earlier this week in the column titled “SG has room for improvement,” writer Christopher Wilde attempted to make the case that Student Government and Swamp Party are not visible to students because the Swamp Party Facebook page went 114 days without posting an update. 

What Wilde might not know, however, is that political parties are barred from such activity according to the Election Campaign Act, or chapter 760 of the 700 codes, which lists the rules and regulations political parties must follow throughout the election cycle. These codes explicitly prohibit the publication of any promotional content immediately after polls close, as the political parties cease to exist as registered student organizations once the election cycle has ended. The codes are designed so all student leaders, regardless of the party they ran with, will serve the student body on behalf of SG. 

Wilde also missed the mark on his criticism of the SG YouTube account. While he stated there has only been one video posted in the past two years, the account UF SG has posted 21 times in the past year alone. Many of these videos are the weekly edition of SG TV, which thousands of students have viewed since its creation. If Wilde, or any reader for that matter, is confused as to what SG has accomplished this past year, SG TV is an informative resource and great place to start. 

Visibility and transparency are top priorities for SG, which have led to dozens of programming events like the State of the Campus address, which drew over 600 students; town hall forums, which have been held by several different college and residence hall Senators; tabling events, which happen every week as part of Senate constituency; and Lunch on the Lawn, which happens at least once each month. There are SG staff members whose sole responsibility is to monitor our online media to ensure we are reaching as many students as possible. On top of the weekly SG email newsletter and Facebook and Twitter pages with a combined following of over 15,000 people, we are always looking for new ways to engage students.

Wilde put it best when he said, “representatives are responsible for being visible and communicative.” On that same note, journalists are responsible for developing informed opinions and students are responsible for playing an active role in their Student Government. 

While we were disheartened by many of the uninformed remarks made by Wilde, we would love to hear any new ideas he or the student body may have to further increase our interaction with our constituents. Comments and suggestions can be sent to externalaffairs@sg.ufl.edu.

Blake D. Murphy

Director of External Affairs

Editor’s Note: YouTube shows three separate Student Government channels. One has 21 videos, the second has one video and the third has three videos. Columnist Christopher Wilde was referring to the third in his column. None of the three channels are verified or linked to each other.

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