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Saturday, December 03, 2022

UF Student Government prepares for the Spring semester

Amid a year of transitions, student government prepares for upcoming events and elections this spring

Student Government released a timeline for the upcoming Spring election and planned semester events during its first week of the semester.

After a Fall semester that saw graduate seat vacancies and an unusually low number of bills on the Senate floor, SG officers are preparing for the Spring semester.

Elections, which will take place in late February, kick off with party registration beginning 9 a.m. Jan. 21, according to the SG website. Students can visit the SG office located in the Reitz Union to register parties, which must be completed by noon Jan. 27. 

An informational meeting will mark the beginning of the election Jan. 25. 

After registration, qualifying and slating will take place to determine party candidates until Feb. 2. 

Students can cast their votes for the Executive Branch, including the Student Body President, Vice President and Treasurer, and 50 Senators (by college) Feb. 22 to 23. Results will be announced on or after Feb. 23. It is unclear what specific parties plan on registering.

Gator Party holds a Senate majority with over 60 seats. Change Party has nine senators.

Students can contact the supervisor of elections, Alexandra Stedman, with questions about the election. 

Senate Pro-Tempore Noah Fineberg (Gator, District A) wrote in an email that throughout the semester students can look forward to SG’s high level of programs and services. 

“My goals remain the same as they were when I first ran for this job,” Fineberg wrote in an email. “Making government work better, continuing to use Senate’s platforms to encourage more students to apply for open seats and holding one-on-ones with every Senator.”

The Big Event, a day of community service hosted by SG, is planned for Mar. 19, according to SG calendar. The day features three- to four-hour service events with the mission of giving back to Gainesville’s community. 

Jake Siegel, Chair of Student Government Productions, said in a Senate meeting Nov. 9 that SGP had two concerts planned for February and March. The details of those events have not yet been announced. 

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“Our focus as we move into the next semester is to provide large-scale big events,” Siegel said.

While there were no other events listed on the student government calendar, there are events planned according to the Executive Cabinet.

Students can expect new legislation to make its way to the Senate floor. The Resolution Recognizing and Upholding the Zero Waste Mission Commitment authored by Minority Party Leader Gabrielle Adekunle will be revisited in the coming semester. 

The resolution, which seeks to commit UF to reducing waste by 2030, was postponed by the Judiciary Committee Dec. 5 on the grounds that the wording did not meet the requirements expected of a resolution. If amended, the resolution will be reviewed again by the Judiciary Committee.

Adekunle did not respond for comment. 

Despite the two-party system, the Communist Party, led by President Alfredo Ortiz, 21, hopes to see more party diversity within SG and an emphasis on democratic values.

“Our goal this election is to call attention to the violation of rights that not just happen in Student Government, but also the Florida state government,” Ortiz said. “Things like representation in the Senate.”

Other parties did not respond to The Alligator in time for publication. 

Contact Maia Botek Follow her on Twitter: @BotekMaia

Correction: This article was updated to reflect the correct dates for when election results will be announced, when new legislation will be enacted and events planned for the semester. The Alligator originally reported differently.

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Maia Botek

Maia Botek is a third-year journalism major and Spanish minor covering student government this semester. Maia is from South Florida and enjoys the beach, spending time with her friends and learning about the environment in her free time.

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