Minutes after Ian Green won the Student Government presidential election for Impact Party, his friends congratulated and hugged him and his mom wiped the tears that streamed down his face with a tissue.
“I just want to thank God first and my parents for supporting me,” Green said with tears running down his cheeks. “I’ve worked so hard for this, and I can’t wait to get to work.”
Green, along with his running mate David Enriquez, won the Spring SG elections and will become the next Student Body president and vice president after winning a total of 5,971 votes, or 59.25 percent, of the 10,381 cast over the course of two days. Impact’s treasurer candidate, Stefan Sanguyo, won with 5,694 votes, or 57.8 percent of the total.
Erica Baker, supervisor of election, wrote in an email 6,484 votes cast Tuesday, 3,897 votes cast Wednesday, and 25 students voted by absentee ballots. This is 3,512 more votes than Spring 2017, when only 6,869 students voted, according to Alligator archives. Of the 50 Senate seats up for vote, Impact won 36, Inspire Party won 14 and Challenge Party won none.
This is the third consecutive year Impact won the executive ticket and the fifth time a black student was elected as Student Body president. Inspire’s president and vice-president candidates, Revel Lubin and Bijal Desai, received 2,715 votes, or 26.94 percent of the vote. Challenge’s candidates Janae Moodie and Shayli Patel with 1,312 votes, or 13.02 percent of the vote.
Alyssa Bethencourt, Inspire’s treasurer candidate, got 3,021 votes, or 30.67 percent of the total. Chase Werther of Challenge received 1,065 votes, or 10.81 percent of the total.
More than 200 students crowded into the Reitz Union Atrium to support candidates. In a room filled with nervous jitters, members from each party put their tension aside and wished each other luck.
Before the results were announced, they chanted.
“I-M-P-A-C-T. Impact is for you and me.”
“Inspire. It’s time. Together, we shine.”
“Hey hey, ho ho. Challenge the status quo.”
Sanguyo embraced his running mates as the room echoed with shouts after Baker announced that Impact took the treasurer seat.
“I’m excited to work for the Student Body,” he said. “I really hope I don’t let the students down.”
The room silenced before Baker called out the winners of the president and vice presidential ticket — Ian Green and David Enriquez.
Green’s mom, Val Green, his dad, Vince Green, his younger sister, Olivia Green, his godmother, Pam Prier from Jacksonville and his girlfriend, Lauren Milgrim, stood by his side the entire night decked out in Impact T-shirts wearing, “The Future is Green.”
It was a long six-hour drive from Marietta, Georgia for the Green family, but Val Green said they couldn’t miss the election.
“I’m very excited to come and support Ian and be a part of a very historic election,” Val said.
When Baker announced Enriquez won, his eyes got watery and he couldn’t stop jumping up and down.
“I want to thank the community behind me, my Latino community,” he said.
Revel Lubin locked arms with a row of Inspire members and looked up as the election results were announced. The Inspire crowd stood silent as Impact Party was called again and again to claim Senate seats.
Lubin remained with his arms locked, staring up and nodding. He leaned over to hug Alyssa Bethencourt after she lost the treasurer seat to Impact’s Stefan Sanguyo. Bethencourt, a UF Innovation Academy telecommunication junior, smiled as other party members showered her in hugs.
In that moment, Bethencourt said she felt relief and pride, not disappointment.
“More than anything, I’m proud of the party,” the 20-year-old said. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity.”
After losing by one vote last semester in the District C election, Bianka Ramirez, a philosophy and economics junior and Inspire candidate, returned to the ballot as a Liberal Arts and Sciences candidate. She lost again by less than 80 votes.
She held hands with fellow Inspire running mates Jessica Zheng and Luke Morris when it was announced Impact won the seven Liberal Arts and Sciences Senate seats.
“This is more fuel for me,” the 20-year-old said. “I’m never going to stop.”
Bijal Desai said he’s proud of Inspire’s campaign and platform, which included advocating for a sexual assault reporting program.
“We stood for what we stood for. We fought for what we fought for,” he said. “We brought what we felt the biggest issues on campus are to the forefront.”
Inspire gathered at the patio area by the Reitz pond to give each other hugs and words of encouragement. Lubin spoke to his fellow party members and told them to look up at the stars in the sky.
“It always takes a certain amount of darkness to see the star,” he said, quoting a Martin Luther King Jr. sermon.
Lubin said his party members should be proud of their hard work and keep faith in their vision for UF. Inspire senators will continue to share their ideas as the minority party in SG, he said. Lubin said he would run for Student Body president again, if that’s what God has planned for him.
“I don’t take a loss as a loss. It’s a lesson learned,” he said. “There’s beauty in it.”
With three parties on the ballot, there was a question of how that would impact the votes. Inspire President Ben Lima said it is impossible to tell if Challenge split the vote.
“This is a democracy,” he said. “Sometimes there’s going to be multiple parties, and that’s the reality of party politics. That’s the reality of what the semester was.”
Lima said Inspire does not intend to merge parties with Challenge but is open to accepting Challenge members with open arms.
“Inspire is here to stay,” he said.
About an hour after the results were announced and Challenge didn’t win a single seat, Janae Moodie said she still felt victory in her heart.
Moodie’s smile didn’t fade as she read the results with her mother, Marcia, 60, who took a five-hour RedCoach bus ride from West Palm Beach to Gainesville on Wednesday to support her daughter.
“I feel like I got my freedom on January 9th when I resigned,” she said. “In the end, we still stood up for what was right and what was different — this doesn’t feel like a loss.”
Marcia, who wore three Challenge stickers on her navy blue and white-striped dress, said she was proud of her 21-year-old daughter.
“I’ll always be proud of her,” she said.
Holding back tears, Shayli Patel said still had hope for an independent movement.
Patel, Challenge’s candidate for vice president, said she still plans to fight for issues like renaming the O’Connell Center and access to free menstrual products.
“We can still fight for issues as students when we stand together united,” the 21-year-old economics junior said. “We started this to bring about change, and that feeling won’t go away any time soon.”
Challenge spokesperson Wayne Selogy said Wednesday night was not the end of the party by any means.
Selogy said he’s aware people might accuse Challenge of stealing votes away from Inspire in light of Impact’s sweeping victories.
“In a true democracy, everyone has the right to give it their fair shot, and that’s exactly what we did,” he said.
Full Election Results:
President/Vice President - 1 seats
- Ian Green/David Enriquez, Impact Party; 5971 votes - 59.25%
- Revel Lubin/Bijal Desai, Inspire Party; 2715 votes - 26.94%
- Janae Moodie/Shayli Patel, Challenge Party; 1312 votes - 13.02%
Treasurer - 1 seats
- Stefan Sanguyo, Impact Party; 5694 votes - 57.8%
- Alyssa Bethencourt, Inspire Party; 3021 votes - 30.67%
- Chase Werther, Challenge Party; 1065 votes - 10.81%
Accounting Senator - 1 seats
- Lauren Adler, Impact Party; 103 votes - 80.47%
- Anika Latourtue, Inspire Party; 25 votes - 19.53%
Agriculture and Life Sciences Senator - 3 seats
- Taylor Pearce, Impact Party; 369 votes - 22.26%
- Brandon Grady, Impact Party; 365 votes - 22.01%
- Audra Weeks, Impact Party; 341 votes - 20.57%
- Fiona Gain, Inspire Party; 177 votes - 10.68%
- Susette Oñate, Inspire Party; 146 votes - 8.81%
- Dmitry Podobreev, Inspire Party; 135 votes - 8.14%
- Jennifer Moscovitch, Challenge Party; 112 votes - 6.76%
Architecture Senator - 1 seats
- Meagan McBride, Impact Party; 62 votes - 92.54%
Arts Senator - 1 seats
- Dylan Probert, Inspire Party; 58 votes - 56.86%
- Kelvy Alter, Impact Party; 43 votes - 42.16%
Building Construction Senator - 1 seats
- Samuel Mitchell, Impact Party; 65 votes - 82.28%
- Miguel Raya, Challenge Party; 7 votes - 8.86%
- Zachary Delaney, Inspire Party; 6 votes - 7.59%
Business Administration Senator - 3 seats
- Sarah Abraham, Impact Party; 762 votes - 26.48%
- Caroline Baldwin, Impact Party; 744 votes - 25.85%
- Graham Boone, Impact Party; 703 votes - 24.43%
- Rahul Kheraj, Inspire Party; 137 votes - 4.76%
- Daria Bulatnikova, Inspire Party; 129 votes - 4.48%
- Cassidy Mandelbaum, Inspire Party; 123 votes - 4.27%
- Anisha Patel, Challenge Party; 89 votes - 3.09%
- Emily Briano, Challenge Party; 86 votes - 2.99%
- Rooshee Patel, Challenge Party; 84 votes - 2.92%
Dentistry Senator - 1 seats
- Brandon Brue, Inspire Party; 42 votes - 85.71%
- Cody Bertoch, Impact Party; 7 votes - 14.29%
Education Senator - 1 seats
- Emily Miller, Impact Party; 33 votes - 75%
- Christian Bilgrien, Inspire Party; 8 votes - 18.18%
Engineering Senator - 4 seats
- Maysen Calzon, Impact Party; 516 votes - 13.12%
- Logan Piper, Impact Party; 511 votes - 12.99%
- Anthony Temeliescu, Impact Party; 509 votes - 12.94%
- Robert Schulte, Impact Party; 498 votes- 12.66%
- Ariel Gholarm, Inspire Party; 392 votes - 9.96%
- James Cowan, Inspire Party; 379 votes - 9.63%
- Gouthami "GiGi" Gadamsetty, Inspire Party; 376 votes - 9.56%
- Gantt Meredith, Inspire Party; 343 votes - 8.72%
- Amy Emerson, Challenge Party; 195 votes - 4.96%
- Michelle Thackeray, Challenge Party; 170 votes - 4.32%
Freshman Senator - 2 seats
- Stephanie Beltran, Impact Party; 445 votes - 39.84%
- Cooper Brown, Impact Party; 366 votes - 32.77%
- Stephon Adams, Inspire Party; 121 votes - 10.83%
- Sneh Patel, Inspire Party; 92 votes - 8.24%
- Keanna Nembhard, Challenge Party; 40 votes - 3.58%
- Johnatan Etienne-Jones, Challenge Party; 38 votes - 3.4%
Graduate Senator - 11 seats
- Harmanpreet Singh, Inspire Party; 272 votes - 5.61%
- Rajan Batra, Inspire Party; 270 votes - 5.57%
- Shweta Chhajed, Inspire Party; 268 votes - 5.53%
- Ranjeet Randhawa, Inspire Party; 265 votes - 5.47%
- Harshit Marwah, Inspire Party; 263 votes - 5.42%
- Bhagatveer Sangha, Inspire Party; 259 votes - 5.34%
- Olin Calvin, Inspire Party; 243 votes - 5.01%
- Emma Cockram, Inspire Party; 242 votes - 4.99%
- Daniel Ospina, Inspire Party; 234 votes - 4.83%
- Connor Smith, Inspire Party; 226 votes - 4.66%
- Keith Saint, Inspire Party; 225 votes - 4.64%
- Bijurika Nandi, Impact Party; 205 votes - 4.23%
- Vishwas Jindal, Impact Party; 178 votes - 3.67%
- Sakshi Singh, Impact Party; 178 votes - 3.67%
- Maria Arboleda, Impact Party; 176 votes - 3.63%
- Harshal Patil, Impact Party; 171 votes - 3.53%
- Ashwin Velraj, Impact Party; 168 votes - 3.47%
- Arie Hariton, Impact Party; 161 votes - 3.32%
- Zach Morris, Impact Party; 159 votes - 3.28%
- Devon Leasure, Impact Party; 156 votes - 3.22%
- Trevor Forster, Impact Party; 149 votes - 3.07%
- Brian McElligott, Impact Party; 147 votes - 3.03%
- May Mansy, Challenge Party; 76 votes - 1.57%
- Kim Vredenburgh, Challenge Party; 67 votes - 1.38%
- Health and Human Performance Senator - 1 seats
- Corey Brandies, Impact Party; 293 votes - 68.14%
- Emily Thach, Inspire Party; 135 votes - 31.4%
Journalism Senator - 1 seats
- Carolyn "Libby" Shaw, Impact Party; 258 votes - 44.95%
- Heaven Taylor-Wynn, Inspire Party; 170 votes - 29.62%
- Mary Grace Sully, Challenge Party; 142 votes - 24.74%
Law Senator - 1 seats
- Edward Paul Cuffe, Impact Party; 241 votes - 66.76%
- Patrick Brathwaite Inspire Party 117 votes - 32.41%
Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator - 7 seats
- Dana Daley, Impact Party; 847 votes - 6.87%
- Nicholas Adams, Impact Party; 840 votes - 6.81%
- Connor Bradley, Impact Party; 825 votes - 6.69%
- Carmen Florez, Impact Party; 816 votes - 6.62%
- Lisette Pellot, Impact Party; 802 votes - 6.5%
- Michael Rosen, Impact Party; 772 votes - 6.26%
- Pranjal Tyagi, Impact Party; 758 votes - 6.15%
- Jasmin Harrell, Inspire Party; 708 votes - 5.74%
- Allison O'Brien, Inspire Party; 684 votes - 5.55%
- Bianka Ramirez, Inspire Party; 680 votes - 5.51%
- Jessica Zheng, Inspire Party; 675 votes - 5.47%
- Jared Machado, Inspire Party; 662 votes - 5.37%
- Luke Morris, Inspire Party; 662 votes - 5.37%
- Kalimah Ujaama, Inspire Party; 653 votes - 5.29%
- Hannah Engle, Challenge Party; 316 votes - 2.56%
- Isabella Muncan, Challenge Party; 299 votes - 2.42%
- Karina Fernandez, Challenge Party; 287 votes - 2.33%
- Anthony Rojas, Challenge Party; 265 votes - 2.15%
- Tessa Walters, Challenge Party; 257 votes - 2.08%
- Kyle Phipps, Challenge Party; 232 votes - 1.88%
Medicine Senator - 1 seats
- Joey Wheilan, Impact Party; 29 votes - 70.73%
- Ravi Patel, Inspire Party; 12 votes - 29.27%
Nursing Senator - 1 seats
- Therese Igharas Impact Party 108 votes - 73.47%
- Gokhul Haresh, Inspire Party; 36 votes - 24.49%
Pharmacy Senator - 1 seats
- Dean Hasan, Impact Party; 54 votes - 96.43%
Public Health and Health Professions Senator - 1 seats
- Charles McMillan, Impact Party; 152 votes - 63.87%
- Kayla Croft, Inspire Party; 54 votes - 22.69%
- Amber O'Hara, Challenge Party; 29 votes - 12.18%
Sophomore Senator - 6 seats
- Rebecca Goetz, Impact Party; 1051 votes - 11.85%
- Abigail Morris, Impact Party; 988 votes - 11.14%
- Grace Pepple, Impact Party; 959 votes - 10.81%
- Meryl Jones, Impact Party; 938 votes - 10.58%
- Will Sandifer, Impact Party; 917 votes - 10.34%
- Andrea Rangel, Impact Party; 885 votes - 9.98%
- Sai Chickakuragodu, Inspire Party; 507 votes - 5.72%
- Naomi Hardin, Inspire Party; 499 votes - 5.63%
- Emily Hyden, Inspire Party; 499 votes - 5.63%
- Sara Kong, Inspire Party; 443 votes - 5%
- Beaudelaine Mesadieu, Inspire Party; 428 votes - 4.83%
- Lema Hussein, Inspire Party; 422 votes - 4.76%
- Michael McAllister, Challenge Party; 288 votes - 3.25%
Veterinary Medicine Senator - 1 seat
- Isaac Epstein, Inspire Party; 7 votes - 100%