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Wednesday, December 06, 2023

In the wake of an increase in sexual assaults on campus, both UF Student Government parties prioritized student safety this election season.

Inspire Party announced its party platform Wednesday, or its goals if elected this semester. Gator Party planned to announce its platform in three parts. It posted the first part Thursday and the second part today. Both parties shared their platforms on social media.

Inspire’s goals consist of four main categories: keeping students safe and healthy, helping them reach their potential, making sure they are all valued and using SG to make a difference. 

Some key points include creating a Living Learning Community for LGBTQ+ individuals, amending Student Government finance codes “to ensure a fair process” for event funding and increasing accessibility to mental health and sexual assault resources.

Inspire President Kristen Jackson said the party plans to consolidate mental health and sexual assault resources and then make them available in multiple languages.

“The goal is to have them available on Canvas, a place that all students already have to go,” she said. “So if something does happen to you, you know where they are.”

Inspire Student Body presidential candidate Matthew Diaz said solving the funding crisis for student organizations is a campaign point he cares about personally. 

As the president of the Indigeneous-American Student Association and vice president of Volunteers for International Student Affairs, two organizations that he said have lost funding, Diaz said he wants to make sure institutions aren’t being undervalued. He said he cares about their long-term stability. 

“I think that one of the big ways that we need to focus that, is by having an administration that values that [long-term stability],” he said. “An administration that didn’t originally cause the issue to begin with, and one that has been sufficiently connected to these orgs to know what they want, and how to execute it in a way that would actually benefit them in the long run.” 

Gator’s first announcement focused on shaping the student experience. Today’s is about building for success.

Gator Student Body presidential candidate Trevor Pope said he is excited about the kNOw MORE campaign point, which provides support to sexual assault survivors, discreet reporting services and prevention training.

“We’re not only providing platforms for people who have the courage to come out and report sexual assault,” he said. “But also, we’re like preventing it in the first place.”

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Katie Hernandez, Gator campaign manager, said in addition to bringing kNOw MORE to UF, she thinks that platform points like adding nap pods and an annual Parking Ticket Forgiveness Day will improve students’ lives.

“When we were doing platform generation, a lot of students came with things that affect their everyday lives or things that they think will end up making their college memories better, that weren’t necessarily academic in nature,” she said. “And so today’s [Thursday’s] platform release is really focused about honing in ‘What is the daily life of a Gator?’” 

She said building for success will improve accessibility, affordability and help prepare students for the professional world.

Contact Chasity Maynard at Follow her on Twitter @chasitymaynard0.  

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