oped

There sure seems to be a lot of plagiarism in Student Government, eh? It’s almost as if there’s this whole entire environment filled with people who don’t care about the rules.

People may be upset over some of the recent hilariously unqualified applicants (such as the dude who sent in the 38-day-late app consisting of just over 350 words who was chosen over the experienced applicant who submitted an on-time, 10-page application), but I ought to remind the world that our executive branch picks have traditionally featured some strong underachievers in the past.

Remember Andrew Lo? He was a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) senator from the majority party who did a lot for… Um… No one, I guess.

Last year, Lo was tapped to become the head of Action SG, which is the executive branch agency who runs SG’s social media. Naturally, he was one of the few nominations the minority party contested because he flat out didn’t have any relevant qualifications beyond being already involved as a senator. Similar to what happened this past month with the Freshman Leadership Council, we saw someone from outside the agency was chosen to lead it over an experienced applicant from within it.

To me, Lo’s lack of technical skills was most important. During the debate over Lo as recorded in the minutes for that meeting, I asked, “How confident are you in a general who is a very bad shot?” Lo was nevertheless confirmed to lead our social media to new heights (not).

Flash forward exactly five months later. The Fall 2018 Alligator Editorial Board appears to have asked the majority party representatives why the SG Facebook page wasn’t promoting SG elections during its endorsement interviews. In the endorsement of the minority party, the Board wrote, “Impact, as the majority party, has failed to take a leadership role in actively promoting elections on social media, especially Facebook. The SG Facebook page is nearly devoid of any mention of the upcoming elections. When The Alligator asked the Impact Party leaders about this, they didn’t have a reason why, despite controlling a majority of SG.”

Oops. I sure wonder who was running the social media.

Maybe Lo was busy at a poncho party instead (yes Lo, the social media maven, indeed had a cover photo on his Facebook profile of him in a fake mustache, colorful poncho and sombrero with his frat bros which looks eerily similar to the one taken of the same frat at FSU that was posted with the caption, “We don’t pay cover or taxes”).

But this is a column about plagiarism after all so let’s talk about some shady stuff.

I am pretty sure Lo was a reject for the Student Body Treasurer position (though that’ll take another column to explain) which is why he found himself the consolation prize of running Student Government’s social media instead. Thrust into this strange position, with no familiarity with the agency and no skills, I believe he stole much of the language in his application from the application of his predecessor.

For example, his predecessor wrote, “The Directors of Graphic Design are responsible for collaborating with the Vice Chair of Design to create strong visual content meant to strengthen the Student Government brand."

Lo wrote, “The directors of Graphic Design is (sic) responsible for working together with the Vice Chair of Vision to create creative and strong visual content with the purpose of engaging students on up to date information going on through campus and maintaining a strong SG brand.”

In another place, Lo’s predecessor wrote, “The Director of Logistics will be responsible for helping with the day-to-day operations of Action SG and assisting the Chairperson with administrative duties.”

Lo wrote, “The Director of Logistics will be responsible with maintaining and assisting with operations within Action SG as well as administrative duties of the Chairperson.”

There’s mountains more than that, but you get the point.

I’ll miss Lo. Never saw him around, but I’ll miss him.

Zachariah Chou is a UF political science junior. His column appears on Thursdays.