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Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Student Government SG Generic
Student Government SG Generic

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.

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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

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