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UNF Spinnaker

Red Party wins SG Presidential seats, moves forward with new initiatives

The Red Party claimed the victory March 24 in a battle at the polls, concluding with candidates Matt Brockelman and Courtney Warner winning student body president and vice president.

Student Government Elections Supervisor Paige Lehman announced the results of the two-day electionto a packed crowd in the Senate Chambers March 24.

Brockelman/Warner won the race with 1,825 votes, while Gray and Blue Party candidates Chris Warren and Robin McEntire rallied 1,341 votes. Brockelman/Warner took 56 percent of the total 3,258 votes, while Warren/McEntire scored 41 percent.

Brockelman and Warner were emotional and cheered along with Red Party supporters as Lehman announced the winners of the election. Brockelman hugged Warner as many people congratulated him on his victory.

“All of our candidates worked really hard,” Brockelman said. “Our ticket really put in the work.”

Brockelman had previous experience as SG attorney general and stepped down from his position after letters of intent were due for the election process.

Newly-elected Vice President Warner showed a lot of emotion after the announcement and said she’s excited to see what’s next for the Red Party.

“It’s been draining, it’s been nonstop, but it’s been worth it,” Warner said.

Warner said the hardest part about the election was getting students involved in the campaign. She said it was important that students to vote, regardless of who they wanted in office.­­

While last year’s election came to be considered one of the most competitive elections in the history of UNF, Warner said she feels this was a much friendlier race.

Warner said she’d like to thank everyone who came out to the polls.

Brockelman was quick to commend the members of the Gray and Blue Party in their work during the election.

“They came out to win, and they put in a lot of work,” Brockelman said. “It was neck and neck the whole way.”

With Warner’s experience as the Supervisor of Elections during fall 2010’s special elections, she said she and Brockelman’s experience with the election duties helped them in their planning for the campaign.

“It kind of helped with the time frame, and so that way we kind of knew exactly how to prepare ourselves [and] when we should start preparing for new things,” Warner said.

Warren said he and his running mate, McEntire, are disappointed in their loss against the Red Party, but Warren said they are honored to just get the chance to run for office.

“We put a lot of hard work and a lot of time and effort into it, but at the same time, I’m just glad to see the numbers, the students that came out for the race and see that a lot of students voted,” Warren said.

“When we look back at our college careers, we’ll be able to say that we gave everything we had to the University of North Florida.”

The number of senators that received general seats were primarily representing the Red Party, with one member of the Gray and Blue party – Molly Batchelor – winning a seat in the Senate. Mitch Haley, who ran as an independent candidate, also received a seat in the Senate.

Peace at the Polls

Lehman said the elections went well, with no major hiccups with the Information Technology department. Whenever there were issues with computers, members from the IT department were quick to resolve the problem, Lehman said.

Lehman said much of the funding for the food and refreshments came Jacksonville business’ donations, which helped supply drinks and pizza to voters.

Voting stations were placed in the Student Union Osprey Plaza and outside of the Thomas G. Carpenter Library March 22-23.

When she came into office, Lehman strived to achieve a goal of 4,000 voters during the election – which rounds up to roughly 25 percent of the student population. Lehman came close to her goal, with 3,258 people voting at the polls – translating to approximately 22 percent of the student population.

“Everyone kept telling me that if you get over 3,000, that’s huge, period,” Lehman said.

Red Party’s Early Plans

With elections over, Brockelman is ready to get the ball rolling. He said his initial plans will include access to the Blackboard app for smartphones. Another is meeting with auxiliary services to discuss concerns about shuttles and Parking Services.

Other major initiatives Brockelman and Warner hope to push include increasing funding for the athletics program and for clubs on campus. Brockelman said at the SG Debate March 8 he hopes to push for more student advisers in order to help students in their academics.

“I think it’s something the university needs,” he said.

Pullout Box:

Senators Elected to General Seats

Amelia Bifano
Jerry Barrs
Kyler Dykes
Megan Jones
Britt Stromquist
Sasha Lindsay
Tony Hendricks
Dorri Glasser
Daniel Bossa
Chris Gilman
Zach Lebovic
Kelly Radell
Rob Byther
Anna Priolo
Charles J Galanti
Katie Hettler
Jeremy Neil Carmical
Jack Shows
Molly Batchelor
Mitch Haley

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