Student Government SG Generic

UF Student Government elections are a little more than a week away, and Impact Party and Inspire Party released their campaign promises for the Spring.

Impact Party released its 21-point platform first on Friday via Facebook. It features a compost program at dining facilities and an automatic headshot photo booth.

“Our platform is a contract to the students,” said Emily Dempsey, a campaign manager for Impact Party. “The ideas on our platform come directly from the people that matter most: the students.”

Inspire Party released its platform on Facebook three hours later.

This platform is broken down into three questions: “Shouldn’t SG use your money effectively?”; “Shouldn’t every Gator count?” and “Shouldn’t SG serve our students?” Inspire Party’s platform addresses the expansion of free printing to locations such as Library West and Marston Science Library and the implementing online voting.

Students will be able to vote in this semester’s election at various on-campus locations on Feb. 19 and 20 to fill the executive ticket and 50 Student Senate seats by college and year.

Ashley Grabowski, the Inspire Party president, said the 12 platform points were contributed by current senators, students and submissions from an online idea generation form that had been up since last Wednesday.

Both platforms include measures to improve parking, the graduate student experience and Asian American resources.

No matter the outcome of the election, Grabowski said Inspire Party would work with Impact. She said the focus should be on how the parties address the problems on campus rather than the points themselves. Inspire wanted to focus on key themes that the elected officals can actually accomplish.

“We aren’t in Inspire instead of Impact because we vehemently disagree with their platform,” Grabowski said. “We’re here because we think they need to improve the way they govern.”

Fanni Szemkeo, a 21-year-old UF natural resource conservation senior, said each year she has seen different UF SG parties present a long platform but never follow up on their promises.

“It’s kind of easy not to be involved with the whole Student Government thing, especially if you have a lot of other things going on,” Szemkeo said.

Shannon Jones, a 19-year-old UF international studies sophomore, said she’s passionate about political awareness and thinks SG is a good way for students to get involved.

Jones, who is a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, said there’s sometimes pressure in the Greek system to vote for the Impact Party, but she said her values align closer with Impact Party regardless.

“We’re actually given like a lot of free choice to vote for who we want to vote for, and we’re encouraged to vote for whoever we feel best represents our interests,” Jones said.

Hannah Beatty is a third-year journalism major and sociology minor from Jacksonville, Florida. She began at the Alligator in the fall of 2018 as a general assignment staff writer and now serves as the student government beat reporter.