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Monday, October 25, 2021
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Editor’s Note: The Alligator Editorial Board, which includes the editor-in-chief, managing editors and opinions editor, met with both parties and candidates running in the UF Student Government Fall Senate elections. 

The board met with Inspire Party leadership Sunday afternoon and with Gator Party leadership Tuesday morning to discuss their platforms. Voting ends today at 8:30 p.m.

Despite lack of interest from the Student Body, this election season has actually had a pretty exciting start. A new party called Gator Party has branded itself as being for the students first rather than SG, which sounds wholesome and democratic.

However, in reality, Gator Party has unclear platform points that don’t go into much detail on the logistics.  

Although both Gator and Inspire Party were hesitant to go into great detail for each platform point, the executives of Inspire were more transparent with their agenda. In light of today’s political climate, transparency gets The Alligator’s endorsement.

The main goal of Inspire was clear: sexual assault prevention. This includes the installment of blue lights on Fraternity Row — a recent cause of protest from about 200 students. Party members began estimating the cost of installing and maintaining the blue lights as well as using data to determine where each blue light should go. 

Gator does have some good ideas with sexual assault prevention as well. The party would like to educate students in Green Dot and bystander training so that they will be able to address interpersonal and violent situations. This platform point is a great idea, and we hope to see it implemented soon.

Unfortunately, this is as detailed as Gator Party gets with its platform. When asked about the main goal they want to accomplish, they said they were excited about all of them, which roughly translates to “we don’t want to focus on one.” No Gator representative participated in Monday’s debate, preventing students from hearing about their ideas compared to their opponents.

We understand the concept of wanting to explore all of your options, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some ideas ready to base your next move on. If Sen. Elizabeth Warren can claim to “have a plan” for everything without even being the Democratic presidential nominee, so can an SG party. Gator Party’s plan? Look for answers somewhere else.

Big 9 student organizations lost a significant amount of funding? Talk to community members. Biggest challenge to overcome? No challenge so far: and that’s the problem.

Inspire Senator Zachary Amrose actually had some answers ready. In response to Big 9 losing funding, Amrose said he wants to take money from the SG reserves in order to temporarily solve this issue. This would require $800,000 out of the $4 million available. 

That’s not to say everything’s fine and dandy in Inspire Land. Installing blue lights on Fraternity Row and implementing online voting are still on its platform because they never got done. Inspire, which has been active since Spring 2017, has yet to break through into the majority. Even if Inspire gains a considerable amount of Senate seats, is that enough to guarantee they’ll finally check blue lights and online voting off its list? Only time will tell.

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Of course, these aren’t all the campaign platform points for each party, but one side clearly wants people to know what they have planned for them — and the other doesn’t seem to have much planned at all. 

The Editorial Board consists of Zora Viel, Opinions Editor; Amanda Rosa, Editor-in Chief; Kelly Hayes, Digital Managing Editor; and Tranelle Maner, Engagement Managing Editor.

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