With only a few days until the heated Senate elections, the race is becoming an increasingly debatable topic around campus. Now that the two major tickets and independents have been declared, students are beginning to notice the campaign efforts, as everybody tries to get their name recognized.
KnightNews.com got the chance to speak with the leaders of both tickets to find out about their platforms and how they think the race will go.
Jereme Pozin, a former SGA Senator, explained that he is running for two main reasons. Not only has he been in SGA before, but he sees it as an unbelievable opportunity to advocate for students.
He wants to get involved again, in order to make a more personal and accessible Senate for students’ needs and wants. Currently a part of the “Building A More Functional” Student Government ticket, or BAMF, Pozin elaborated that the two major tickets are not really all that different. Fundamentally, each ticket has good intentions to help students. However, he explained, there are just slight differences on how matters should be handled.
Describing the BAMF platform, Pozin’s main emphasis was on making SGA more accessible to students. As he explained, many registered student organizations (RSOs) do not know who their Senator is, so they do not know about receiving funding for events and trips. In order to solve this issue, Pozin suggests that Senators go to RSO meetings to introduce themselves and immediately take a “What can I do for you?” approach.
Also, Pozin mentioned making Senator signs outside of every college building, much like the “Peterson and Andrick” signs all over campus, so that students can identify with who their Senator is and have some type of contact information.
Additionally, Pozin, who is running for a Senate seat in the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, described other issues that the BAMF ticket will handle, such as making the campus a greener place.
He went on to say that every building should have recycling bins, and the campus should work to make self-sustaining buildings through methods like solar power, which will significantly cut energy costs. Pozin stressed that if that process starts now, there will be a noticeable difference in a few years. He also talked about reforming SEPS, having more campus safety through additional call boxes, more lighting, and police officers always on foot patrol as an added reassurance for students walking home late at night.
Advocating why his ticket is best for UCF, Pozin said BAMF ticket members are very active on campus who can be future leaders of SGA. “We’re gonna be a fresh, new face for SGA. We’ll make it [SGA] what it’s supposed to be,” Pozin explained. “This is an unbelievable group who has the potential to do extremely well.”
KnightNews.com was also able to talk to Patrick Stauffer, current SGA Speaker of the Senate, who is responsible for running weekly meetings and managing various aspects of Senate, such as making sure bills are submitted and committees are running smoothly. A leader of the Unite Ticket, Stauffer started the idea with a few of his friends, who he described as a “wide, diverse range of experienced SGA leaders”.
As a member of Senate for two years, he, along with his running mates, devised a list of “10 Promises” to the UCF community as their platform. Primarily, the Unite Ticket will lobby to prevent cuts and work to help the parking issue by improving the appeals system and have incentives for car pooling.
Following these promises, the ticket will work to get better lighting and safety across campus, change the tailgating hours, and prepare UCF for the H1N1 virus, also known as the swine flu, through a consistency with absence policies.
Additionally, Stauffer, who is running for a Senate seat in the College of Engineering, mentioned fighting unnecessary fee increases, giving out more SGA scholarships, funding programs to help students find jobs and internships, and helping to open up SGA through an easy-access website, open forums, and tabling.
He stressed that the main point is to make students aware that SGA is here for them. Finally, Stauffer explained a detailed plan to fund safe rides home. Although only in the planning stage, the Unite Ticket wants to work for a fleet of cars, in which students volunteer to drive through the local area to prevent drunk driving.
KnightNews.com asked why he thought the Unite Ticket was best for UCF. Mentioning that the ticket currently holds multiple experienced leaders, including six current committee chairs, Stauffer went on to say, “We know how to get things done. We are trying to unite every different facet of UCF.”
Overall, he thinks that the race will remain clean because everyone is doing it for the right reasons. “It should be interesting,” Stauffer elaborated. “Both sides can be trusted.”
Each ticket member and every independent, clearly with the best intentions to help UCF students, have only a few more days until voting, as it begins next Monday, September 28th. With no time to lose, there will be no shortage of campaigning all over campus. Be sure to get out there and see who is running for your college! And don’t forget to get a free slice of pizza and a t-shirt along the way!