For multiple years, Student Government has been embattled in a gridlock of two political parties: Gator and Change. These parties limited the potential of SG for too long.
Vision Party, a novel political party, embodies the spirit of breaking free from the traditional dichotomy. Vision is composed of former members from both political parties who grew tired of political polarization and Senate gridlock. We are united by a desire to prioritize students' well-being over political interests and power.
Gator and Change have developed entrenched beliefs, views, ideas and operating patterns. These consist of disparaging the other party rather than providing positive, bipartisan outcomes for the student body. Progress requires the infusion of new perspectives and ideas, and Vision has many student organizations and people committed to making that happen by winning the upcoming elections.
Vision has a set of core values chosen intentionally to set it apart from the existing political parties: inclusion, unity and transparency. Let’s consider what each of these means for a new SG.
Vision is open to anyone — no matter previous political affiliation, background, belief or creed. All who wish to see an improved UF SG are welcome. A party that embraces this principle means an environment where all perspectives and ideas can flourish in the pursuit of moving beyond the current rotten political order.
Unity illustrates the importance of collaboration of people from all parts of campus under the same political banner. Political polarization is everywhere, and anyone can see that. Believers in unity know common ground does exist. UF students can work together to improve UF and eliminate existing hateful political narratives.
Our pledge to transparency means members of Vision Party will operate openly and honestly and make sure the public and our student constituents understand what we are doing and why we are doing it. We will keep an open line of communication with the student body for any questions or suggestions for SG and ways to improve campus life. Moreover, we will actively seek advice and opinions from student organizations on critical legislation, ensuring SG is a collaborative process.
Vision Party, a coalition of former Gator and Change members, represents this belief: UF deserves a better SG environment. We deserve better than Gator and Change and their partisan bickering. We deserve an environment where all UF Students, including SG, can thrive and feel welcome.
We want Senate Chambers where first-generation, international, non-Greek and Greek students feel welcome and empowered. A party transcending political divisions is a step forward and a reminder of how things should be done. We stand against all forms of hate — we aim to make SG a place that leads through love, empathy and effective action. Vision is the vehicle to take us there.
If you have any questions or want to know more about us, please ask. We are excited to talk to you. Together, we can make UF a better place for all.
John Brinkman is a UF Economics, Political Science and Philosophy senior and Vision Party Campaign Manager.
Alejandro Ortiz is a UF Economics and Political Science senior and Vision Party Campaign Manager.