UF Students generate ideas for campaign platforms

Che John, a 19-year-old UF finance sophomore, and Maria Espinoza, a 19-year-old UF criminology sophomore, talked to students Tuesday afternoon on Turlington Plaza. John and Espinoza are both members of Inspire Party, and they spent the afternoon reaching out to students about the upcoming Student Government elections.

 

Students made it clear they wanted to “Defund ICE,” as well as have “free aerial yoga” and “more sleeping spaces!” on Turlington Plaza and the Reitz Union North Lawn.

Inspire Party and Impact Party have been asking students for the past few days for their ideas on how to make campus better. Inspire Party has been canvassing students for their ideas since Friday and Impact Party began on Monday.

These ideas will later turn into the Student Government parties’ platforms for the spring general election, which will be held Feb. 19 and 20.

Claudia Tio, the outreach director of Inspire Party, said many students have expressed interest in more funding for the Counseling & Wellness Center and more support for graduate students.

Students have been writing ideas for Inspire Party on a corkboard with sticky notes. Some ideas presented on the board on Tuesday include a library capacity monitoring system and longer bus route availability.

“We have a dedicated policy team that works to view all the ideas, look at our past platforms and see how we can best merge that with the party’s three values,” Tio said.

Emily Dempsey, a campaign manager for Impact Party, said in an email that students have written about their interest in the dockless scooter program, which was announced as an Impact platform point over the weekend.

“Students have completely filled our chalkboards with ideas over the past two days, and we are excited to keep hearing students ideas tomorrow,” Dempsey said.

Jacqueline Murcia, a 19-year-old UF environmental engineering freshman, wrote on Impact’s chalkboard on Turlington Plaza that she wants to see more climate activism on campus.

Ideally, she wants campus to use solar and wind energy, promote vegan or vegetarian lifestyles and educate people on shrinking their waste footprint.

“There (are) a lot of clubs on campus that recycle, reduce and clean up trash, but there isn’t any consciousness. There needs to be more activism,” Murcia 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.