UNF’s Freedom Party

Carter Mudgett, Government Reporter

Spinnaker takes errors very seriously and works promptly to correct them. In a previous version of this article, Freedom Party co-founder Wyatt Wiltse said they spoke to numerous Senate candidates who said Student Government was to blame for the end of tailgate parties: “Wiltse spoke to numerous Senate candidates who said that Student Government was why the parties were not allowed.” It was not SG who prompted the end of tailgating. Spinnaker previously reported that it was the University that banned the events a few years ago to review UNF’s drug and alcohol policies. Spinnaker regrets the error.

A third new party has been established for the UNF election season. The Freedom Party sports the tagline, “Putting students first.” Spinnaker met with the party’s co-founders, Wyatt Wiltse and Nicholas Patin, to speak about their goals for the future. 

Patin said this about the party’s origination:

“We were really interested in making an ideological diversity in Student Government. After talking to several people who were in the Senate, they just said it was ideologically very far on one side. We just wanted to change the conversation within Student Government and allow it to be a better representation for all students, whether they were raised traditionally, more conservative, or more liberal. While Student Government doesn’t reflect national politics in that sense, it does influence how people think.”

Their main plans include a strong focus on enforcing the United States Constitution fairly across campus, “Especially the First Amendment of freedom of speech, and freedom of religion,” said Wiltse. 

According to Wiltse, one of their main goals is to try and bring back tailgate parties. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, they were not allowed on campus. The parties will help build a fun culture at UNF. 

Both co-founders stressed the importance of upholding the Constitution in and around campus. They said, “it seems like the rules are being applied differently depending on what political group you’re in, which is just completely silly,” said Patin.

Graphic courtesy of The Freedom Party.

Co-founder Nicholas Patin had this to say:

“While students are being discriminated against, or being put down for their political or religious beliefs, all the other issues really do seem much much lower. Whether it be like improvements to campus and everything are great, but while students’ constitutional rights are being violated, those things just seem really like petty issues when compared to your constitutional or god-given rights being violated. […] We’re trying to make sure the rights of students are upheld.”

Spinnaker will continue to keep you updated on all upcoming election events.


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