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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Vision Party: Continuing down the path of success

Opinions generic
Opinions generic

From its creation this past Fall, Vision Party has made it its mission to ensure the voices of every student are heard. The very foundation of Vision is based on individuals from all backgrounds coming together to tackle the ineffective governance of other parties. 

The idea was simple: eliminate the bickering and gridlock from Student Government and work to realize student needs. Vision affiliates have translated this idea into action after Vision Party’s inaugural campaign won them a majority in the Student Senate.

Newly elected Visionaries have since worked tirelessly to produce legislation and meet with student organizations in order to uplift student voices and needs. As your input informs our platform, we have reflected your exact ideas in the changes we push for, ensuring that we keep ourselves and our learning environment productive and safe. 

In this upcoming election, stakes are higher than ever. The student body does not feel safe, principles of diversity, equity and inclusion are under attack and the student organization funding model is an ongoing cause for concern. 

We have experienced the effects of recent attacks on diversity, equity and inclusion in Florida, and resolved to use our Senate majority to fight for all students impacted, not just in the classroom but at the core of their identities. 

We passed legislation calling for the creation of a summit where student leaders can meet directly with Senate and Executive Branch leadership. We directly uplifted first-generation students by passing legislation urging the University to expand networking opportunities, mentorship and first-generation specialized advising programs. 

We tirelessly pushed for increased safety measures and more support for student healthcare through improved mental health resources within the Counseling and Wellness Center and the UPD Correspondent Program, increased reproductive health education and availability, and the spread of Narcan across campus. 

We advocated for sustainability efforts such as compost bins inside UF’s dining halls, alongside an increased accommodation of students with dietary restrictions in our dining facilities. 

We have furthered your Senators’ dedication to Alachua County as a whole by implementing community service requirements within Senate.

Under the direction of Senate President John Brinkman and President Pro-Tempore Saketh Damera, we are proud to say that these achievements makeup only a small fraction of the Vision caucus’s accomplishments, having just one semester under its belt. While Senate will continue to further these initiatives, our executive ticket is excited to get to work. 

Your future Student Body President, John Brinkman, is dedicated to ensuring a safer campus, and will actively work to do so by implementing monitored rescue stations across campus in case of emergency, enhancing AED services and Blue Lights and promoting accessibility alongside safety with the construction committee task force. 

Vision Vice President Candidate Laura Thomas will use her experience as Black Student Union president to continue advocating for student success, amplifying student voices and supporting DEI initiatives, specifically through creating new cabinets in the Executive Branch. 

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Vision’s Student Body Treasurer Candidate Saketh Damera is passionate about uplifting student organizations in terms of funding and accomplishments. Recognizing the inefficiencies and failures of the current funding models for student organizations, Saketh will restructure the funding system, make comprehensive guides on how to navigate Docutraq, and increase funding for Signature Events by $150,000 to ensure vital student events secure funding.

We asked the student body what it wanted to see from its Student Government, and we listened. Because of you, our platform is the most comprehensive in recent history. Vision Party kept its promises in the fall, and we will do it again with your vote Feb. 27 and 28!

Matthew Reich is a UF political science junior and the Vision Party campaign manager. 

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