Update 1:45 p.m. Friday: This story has been updated to include Challenge Party's video announcement.
A former Student Government Pro Tempore who accused Impact Party of tokenizing minorities wants to be the next Student Body president.
In an announcement to the Alligator on Thursday, Janae Moodie said she is running for Student Body president with a new party, later announced as the Challenge Party on Facebook.
The party’s executive ticket will be announced after slating ends on Tuesday The party also intends to begin slating Sunday, said Wayne Selogy, the party’s campaign manager.
“We encourage students of all backgrounds and any or no affiliations to slate with Janae Moodie’s party,” said Selogy, a UF African American studies senior. “We’re looking for driven students who want to make a difference.”
Friday afternoon, Moodie released a video announcing her candidacy with the Challenge Party. Anthony Rojas is the party president.
Rojas, 22, organized a protest last year to demand Student Body President Smith Meyers’ resignation after he was arrested for drunkenly knocking over two Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Key West, according to Alligator archives.
“It’s a sad reality that a lot of students have given up on Student Government,” the UF political science and criminology senior, said. “There’s real issues that are affecting real students. We want to be that party that says that no matter who you are, your voice will be heard.”
Rojas said the party wants to advocate to change parts of Student Government like implementing online voting and incorporating minorities.
“We want to see more initiatives to incorporate minority students and we want to get away from this culture,” he said. “If an issue affects one of us, it affects all of us.”
Selogy, 22, said the party is a grassroots movement.
“There will be a clear distinction throughout this campaign of Janae’s ability to lead, her experience in leadership and her ability to bring issues that candidates have been very afraid to bring up in the past that are necessary to move our university forward,” Selogy said.
Moodie, a UF psychology senior, said she decided to form the party last week after the new party president wrote to her on Facebook.
“It was actually because I had overwhelming support from people from both parties asking me to step up,” Moodie said. “The party president actually reached out to me and told me about a vision he had of serving students and that aligned with what I said in my speech. I felt like that was the answer I was looking for on how to serve the students best.”
Moodie served as the Senate President Pro-Tempore since October, but resigned at the first Senate meeting of Spring 2018. According to Alligator archives, Moodie has been a senator since Spring 2015, when she was first elected with Swamp Party.
Moodie said people are excited about the prospects of the party, and so she is.
“Transparency is so important to me but also increasing diversity initiatives to make it more representative of the campus demographic,” she said.