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Thursday, May 23, 2024

It’s that time of year again — Student Government elections. The last few years, dear reader, have been as tumultuous as ever. The drama surrounding various party name changes, accusations of nepotism, mudslinging and the seemingly valid conspiracy theories seems to never end, and even as we put the finishing touches on this endorsement editorial, the Not My System movement is preparing a livestream for a Q&A.

Before we go any further with an endorsement, we would like to address the Not My System movement. While the dots seem to connect, the lack of tangible evidence does not gain this theory any momentum, and we look forward to seeing any physical evidence they can provide to back up their claims.

But back to the election.

For many of you, this will be the first SG election where only one party is in the running. Five independent candidates are running as well, who lack any and all party affiliation, including among themselves. These independent candidates are running against the, for better or worse, extremely well-greased machine that is Impact Party. For us upperclassmen, the memories of Access Party, and its arm wrestling with Impact, have long fizzled away.

The platforms provided by both Impact and the independent candidates individually are relatively synonymous and cover a variety of issues the broad UF Student Body faces. We here at the Alligator recognize Impact’s dedication to the Student Senate and its assertion to follow through with their proposed platform and the always controversial, yet alarmingly elusive, online voting initiative. We hope, regardless of how many seats they win, that they follow through with every one of the above mentioned initiatives. However, we here at the Alligator cannot in good conscience endorse a single party and perpetuate a one-party system. Accusations of nepotism, corruption and lack of transparency aside, we cannot endorse the continued monarchy that has become our SG.

There are five candidates on the ballot this year listed as independent. We here at the Alligator fully support Anthony Zona and Jeremy O’Brien Murillo in their campaigns over Tolbert Area and Beaty Towers, respectively. They have both reached out to their respective constituencies, listened to their concerns and are going into their races truly representing their areas, with area specific policies they want to see enacted. They have also expressed malleability and openness in considering policy that affects every Gator, not just those in Tolbert Area or Beaty Towers. We will not recommend any other candidate, Impact or independent, for any other race, but instead give our support to the platforms and initiatives supported and voiced by both sides of the contested and uncontested elections.

With all of this in mind, fellow students, we need you to go out and vote. The more of you that go to the polls today and Wednesday, the more confident we can be in saying that our elected student officials truly represent The Gator Nation. Small voter turnout increasingly invalidates the confidence we have that those in SG truly stand on behalf of the 53,000 students at UF. Democracy works best when everybody contributes, and the best way to “stick it” to those you oppose is to stand and vote for those you support.

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