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The Red Party is running on school pride, SG experience for upcoming elections

By: Greg Parlier, Editor in Chief


From left: Moderate Green Phillip Sabado and John Fails, Red Party Carlo Fassi and Mike Naughton (Photo by Sean Murphy)

The Red Party looks to continue election day success by focusing on school pride and running on experience.

Carlo Fassi, a political science junior and SG Senate President, and Mike Naughton, deaf education junior and Chief of Staff for Student Body President Matt Brockelman, stressed their long term Student Government experience and relationship with the current administration.


Fassi and Naughton both have a close connection with Brockelman and student body Vice President Courtney Warner. Fassi, Brockelman’s roommate, and Naughton, his closest aide, both expressed high praise for Brockelman and Warner’s leadership over the past year.


The Red Party’s presidential ticket said its main goal, if it wins the election, would be to increase school pride and bring more activities to campus. It wants its fellow Ospreys to stop kvetching about losing the opportunity to attend other state schools such as the University of Florida and Florida State University and embrace UNF’s quickly growing campus.


Naughton is a former director of Osprey Productions, the Director of Operations in the UNF American Sign Language Club and the Treasurer of the Student National Education Association. Fassi volunteers with the same three SG agencies and was a former participant in the International Business Society and International Student Association before he switched majors from international relations to political science.


Talk a little bit about your most important platforms.


Mike Naughton: Our major platform, our overall theme is “vote Red to enhance your Osprey experience.” Our major goals are moving from being a commuter campus to a more traditional school like UF, FSU or UCF, moving from a place where no one is staying on campus to a place that really makes people feel at home and making everyone an Osprey, not a UNF student that secretly roots for the Gators or “go, FSU.” We are all Ospreys, we all want to swoop, so our initiatives this year are more geared towards bringing people back to UNF.


Fassi: The current administration has been doing a great job of it. With Matt Brockelman, Courtney Warner and Mike as their Chief of Staff, we’ve had a lot of programming opportunities over the weekends that have already started on campus.


Going back to our current platform, enhancing your Osprey experience – that’s an umbrella term for a bunch of initiatives that we’ve come up with, the Red Party has, and none of them are Mike or I, they’re the group. When they had to go get their 150 endorsement signatures to run for Senate, they asked students: “What do you want to see on campus?” Or, “What programs, events that only Student Government can provide for you, what do you want to see from it?” A lot of things that have come out are related to improving our campus recreation department to give our intramural sports more of a professional atmosphere.


We also want to focus on improving services on campus, like getting more ATMs. I know a lot of students, their specific bank that they are a customer for, they don’t have an ATM on campus.


We’re bringing back an old Red Party initiative in free printing, having Student Government pay for a specific amount of prints per student per week or per semester. The logistics will be worked out if we were to win and when we do win. We’ll make sure that students have a space, a Student Government space on campus with free prints for class.


Everyone’s favorite issue is parking. What would you do to improve parking?


Naughton: If you look at other major universities, parking is usually focused on the outer core of campus, and students have to commute to the inner bands of campus for classes, the Student Union, things like that. One of the main goals we have for our initiatives next year is better transportation, like cutting down shuttle times so you’re not waiting 20 minutes out at Lot 18 just to get to the core of campus. Instead, you have a two-minute wait with a five-minute ride, and you’re in class before 10 minutes. Things like that would help alleviate the parking situation so that if you have a Lot 18 pass, or you have a premium pass and you only have to wait two minutes you can just park out in Lot 18, and you get in to class quicker than having to fish around in the parking garages.


How do you feel the current administration has done at representing the nontraditional students, the graduate students, students with families, minority students, LGBT students? And how would you do things differently to better represent them?


Naughton: Right. I think, looking at the Red Party ticket this year compared to last year and past years, the Red Party has been changing. There used to be this stigma that the Red Party used to be this strict conservative Christian, Greek life party, and it’s quickly moving into something different.


You spoke on good representation of students. We have members of Greek life, we have club members, we have members of the LGBT community on our ticket, the vice presidential candidate himself is gay, so we have a good diverse ticket. We have a widespread voice where we know what our constituency groups want.


In closing, what message do you really want to get across to students, in what you want to do for them?


Naughton: My goal, if we were to be elected as student body vice president and president, is I want every student on our campus next year to be proud of being an Osprey, not to just be like “I go to UNF, yeah, it’s cool,” or “I go to UNF, but I really wish I had gotten into FSU or UF.”

It’s “I go to UNF, I am proud to be an Osprey. We do amazing things at this university. Look what we have that you don’t have, UF kids. You didn’t have a GOP debate on your campus, you didn’t have MTV at your campus. We did.” I want to be able to rub the fact that I’m an Osprey into other universities’ faces, and I want for other people to have that same passion as me.


Fassi: I completely, completely agree with Mike. But on a smaller level, your Student Government is here for you. You pay activity and service fees every semester, and depending on how many classes you take, you’ll pay around $100 to Student Government a semester.


We’re here, we have the experience, we have the commitment and the passion to make sure that students have the best four years of their life here at UNF and make sure that every Osprey is prideful of that.


This interview with Carlo Fassi and Mike Naughton was conducted Feb. 23.


Email Greg Parlier at [email protected].


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