UF Student Government elections are a little more than a week away, and Impact Party and Inspire Party released their campaign promises for the Spring.
Impact Party released its 21-point platform first on Friday via Facebook. It features a compost program at dining facilities and an automatic headshot photo booth.
“Our platform is a contract to the students,” said Emily Dempsey, a campaign manager for Impact Party. “The ideas on our platform come directly from the people that matter most: the students.”
Inspire Party released its platform on Facebook three hours later.
This platform is broken down into three questions: “Shouldn’t SG use your money effectively?”; “Shouldn’t every Gator count?” and “Shouldn’t SG serve our students?” Inspire Party’s platform addresses the expansion of free printing to locations such as Library West and Marston Science Library and the implementing online voting.
Students will be able to vote in this semester’s election at various on-campus locations on Feb. 19 and 20 to fill the executive ticket and 50 Student Senate seats by college and year.
Ashley Grabowski, the Inspire Party president, said the 12 platform points were contributed by current senators, students and submissions from an online idea generation form that had been up since last Wednesday.
Both platforms include measures to improve parking, the graduate student experience and Asian American resources.
No matter the outcome of the election, Grabowski said Inspire Party would work with Impact. She said the focus should be on how the parties address the problems on campus rather than the points themselves. Inspire wanted to focus on key themes that the elected officals can actually accomplish.
“We aren’t in Inspire instead of Impact because we vehemently disagree with their platform,” Grabowski said. “We’re here because we think they need to improve the way they govern.”
Fanni Szemkeo, a 21-year-old UF natural resource conservation senior, said each year she has seen different UF SG parties present a long platform but never follow up on their promises.
“It’s kind of easy not to be involved with the whole Student Government thing, especially if you have a lot of other things going on,” Szemkeo said.
Shannon Jones, a 19-year-old UF international studies sophomore, said she’s passionate about political awareness and thinks SG is a good way for students to get involved.
Jones, who is a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, said there’s sometimes pressure in the Greek system to vote for the Impact Party, but she said her values align closer with Impact Party regardless.
“We’re actually given like a lot of free choice to vote for who we want to vote for, and we’re encouraged to vote for whoever we feel best represents our interests,” Jones said.
Bring a dockless scooter program to campus
Provide mental health kiosks
Improve student parking by advocating for affordable decals and number of spaces available
Update Aramark’s policy regarding cultural food exceptions for student organizations
Encourage composting at all dining facilities on campus
Implement a program for students to donate unused meal swipes
Lobby to secure state funding for the new Data Science and Information Technology Building
Bring Starbucks rewards to locations on campus
Increase food and travel cap for student organizations in the SG codes
Advocate for improved graduate assistant compensation
Bring an automatic headshot photo booth to campus
Assist Asian American student leaders in advocating for the expansion of Asian Pacific Islander Desi resources on campus
Expand parking garage capacity counters
Advocate to expand resources for the Office of Victim Services
Implement a Graduate Student Affairs Cabinet Director position
Expand the program that allows students to make donations as payment for parking fines
Continue advocating for the Dream Act
Ensure that classes and exams that require computers are scheduled in rooms with enough outlets
Advocate for an online request form for minor applications
Create study cubicles in residence halls
Provide scooter helmet rentals through the SG Bike Repair Shop
Empower programs like Bridges to recruit members of underrepresented communities to attend and feel at home at UF
Permanently fund more Counseling and Wellness Center mental health counselors, improve Disability Resource Center facilities and add more free menstrual hygiene product dispensers on campus
Increase English-language resources for international students and invest in additional Asian and Asian American Studies faculty
Allow unused flex bucks to roll over across all semesters and organize a recurring farmers market with diverse food options
Reduce distribution of single-use plastics on campus to help UF go green by 2025
Centralize resources for survivors of sexual assault and provide them with access to free rape kits
Implement online voting to amplify student voices in SG elections
Protect student dorm and scooter parking from the Transportation and Parking Services plan to replace it with faculty parking
Expand free printing to convenient locations like the Weil Computer Lab, Health Science Library, Marston Science Library and Library West
Cut red tape impeding funding for student organizations and audit SG to end wasteful spending
Livestream SG meetings, send constituent listservs, and create an SG Accountability and Transparency Agency
Reduce student fees for graduate assistants and ensure fair representation for graduate and professional students on the local fee committee