In a letter to the Alligator on Tuesday, UF Student Body Treasurer Revel Lubin announced his intention to switch from Impact Party to Inspire Party.
Lubin ran for the executive ticket last year with Impact, and in the letter, he said he thought it would be a move that could “initiate positive change” in Student Government. He said since then he has witnessed tokenism in the party – as expressed in the resignation speech of Janae Moodie a week ago.
He said minority individuals, including himself, are marginalized. He said Impact gives positions to fill quotas and uses “diversity” as a buzzword.
“I put the students over the politics and over Impact,” he said. “But as time went on, I can’t compromise my character to be a part of something that was contradicting everything I stood for.”
The criminology and law and African-American studies sophomore said he saw things that were unjust from the beginning of his time in Impact. Lubin said although he agrees with some of the points Moodie made in her speech, it wasn’t her resignation that prompted him to make this announcement.
“This is something I was prompted, just me personally for a long time,” he said. “It has nothing to do with what Janae said. I’m taking this uncomfortable position to stand up.”
In the last paragraph of the letter, Lubin said he will switch to Inspire. He said his future plans with SG are still unclear.
“I think I’m taking time to pray about my next step and figure out what I want to do to serve within the party,” he said. “I’m unsure as to which direction I will take next.”
Lubin said he identifies with Inspire's vision.
“I noticed a group of individuals who have like-minded ideas,” he said. “It’s a fresh group with fresh visions.”
Senator Benjamin Lima (Inspire, D) said this is an exciting development for the party. He led Inspire’s creation in Fall 2017 as its president.
“Revel is someone who has a great sense of vision for the student body,” he said. “A lot of our senators have been collaborating with him on numerous initiatives. Our caucus is very excited to see the potential to have someone of his stature to be able to be affiliated with Inspire Party.”
Senate President Pro-Tempore Trevor Schaettle said he didn’t understand the necessity for Lubin to disaffiliate.
“I feel like the problem definitely could’ve been addressed further on, and I feel like this is kind of a scapegoat kind of blaming,” he said. “A lot of us were shocked at that.”
Senate President Ian Green (Impact, Business Administration) said Lubin’s statement has more to do with the political climate and upcoming elections than the true reality of Impact.
“Specifically for me, I’m the third black male Senate President here at the University of Florida,” Green said. “I have gotten to where I am because of the work I have put into this university. There’s a reason why I have gray hairs and a receding hairline.”
Student Body President Smith Meyers, who ran with Lubin on his executive ticket, said he hadn’t heard of Lubin’s concerns.
“Revel’s letter to the editor is the first time in the nine months we have been in office that I have heard about his concerns with Student Government,” he wrote in an email.
Read his full letter here.