As presidential campaign ads plow across social media feeds and commercial breaks, UF students must consider six more candidates. Gator Party and Inspire Party announced their executive tickets Thursday.
Trevor Pope will run as Student Body president, Lauredan Official as Student Body vice president and Jessica Jesurajan as Student Body treasurer in Gator Party’s first executive ticket since their creation in Fall. Pope and Jesurajan were previously Impact Party senators.
These tickets follow a semester of controversy surrounding Student Government, including an impeachment resolution of the current Impact-affiliated Student Body President. Matthew Diaz co-filed the impeachment resolution with four other Inspire senators.
Inspire announced Diaz is running as Student Body president, Emily Hyden as Student Body vice president and Matthew Barocas as Student Body treasurer in a Facebook post Thursday evening.
Gator Party announced its ticket at Gator Walk Thursday afternoon. Family, friends and party members gathered around an orange and white balloon arch for the announcement, some sporting “HOPE IN T POPE” T-shirts.
“Really our motto and a lot of the reason why I’m running and coming back into the world of Student Government... is just to instill hope,” Pope said.
Pope, a first-year UF Law student, said he wants to lead by example by crossing the aisle this semester. Pope was Student Government’s allocations chair, he’s a Cicerone and involved in the Freshman Leadership Council.
Diaz has served in the Senate for two terms Inspire Party, is the vice President of Volunteers for International Student Affairs and on the board of Together UF, a coalition of the big nine organizations.
Diaz said he sees a divide between SG and the students, and he wants to mend it.
“It’s increasing Student Government accountability, pushing for more inclusivity… and making sure that we’re transparent,” he said. “Making sure that when there is mistakes or when there’s stuff that the Student Body doesn’t like it’s addressed, and it’s talked about in an open dialogue.”
Official, who serves as the Leadership and Service Cabinet chair and is a member of the Black Student Union said he wants to talk to students and encourage them to use their freedom.
“I really want to hear the students’ ideas, because I don’t like the idea of putting my own notions too far ahead of the Student Body’s,” he said.
Hyden led the Blue Light Protest in Fall, which resulted in four blue lights on campus. She said she wants to continue to make campus safer and to listen to the concerns of all students.
“My goals are to voice the concerns of students, all students of all backgrounds, and do that through my cabinet as the vice president to represent the Student Body better as a whole and make campus safer for students and just more accessible for everyone,” the international studies junior said.
Contact Chasity Maynard at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @chasitymaynard0.