UNF’s Soar Party

Julia Croston, Government Reporter

With the upcoming Student Government (SG) election, Spinnaker interviewed Soar Party founders: Emily Sullivan, Gabrielle D’Amico, and AJ Likosar. 

Soar explained that their name came from feeling inspired to move forward and to generate a positive environment in SG. This name further inspired their slogan: “soar to new heights.” Soar focuses on safety, accountability, and engagement. 

Soar was inspired to emphasize campus safety based on results from a recent Osprey Voice. The Osprey Voice results showed the majority of students are unfamiliar with AED locations on campus and are not comfortable using an AED. Soar wants to work with UNF to create CPR and AED training so students will be prepared in case of an emergency. 

Emily Sullivan reveals the inspiration behind seeking CPR and AED training comes from helping someone in the library when they had a seizure. Sullivan explained: “I knew exactly what to do. Some of the other members in the library weren’t exactly sure what to do. So, then I started thinking what if it was a bigger thing? Where are the AEDs on campus? It took EMS 17 minutes to get there. If I wasn’t there, how would the students have reacted?” This heroic act inspired Sullivan to join SG to promote safety.

Soar wants to add more blue lights on campus especially along the walk to Lot 14 and the new road to Fountains. Blue lights are scattered all over campus, but some are old or stay out of commission for too long. 

Courtesy of Soar.

Along with blue lights, the group wants to bring back the SKYS (Students Keeping Students Safe) program. SKYS was a UNF shuttle program that would pick up students at night to safely take them to places on campus. Recently, SG has been trying to bring this program back. 

Based on the Osprey Voice results on mental health, Soar wants to provide students with more information on eating disorders to raise awareness since eating disorders are a common mental health issue. They want to create an Osprey Voice to reach out to students while working with the Counseling Center

As another goal, Soar wants to make campus events more fun and inclusive for students. To be fiscally responsible, Soar wants to use money to fund more small events instead of one huge event.

Sullivan stated: “The money is for the students, and we want to make sure we give it back the proper way.” 

For new events, Soar wants to actualize plans to host events at the new pool

Soar hopes to increase marketing to make sure students know about events. “One of the biggest problems with Student Government is marketing,” explained Likosar. They want to create more physical announcements and want to work with RAs to reach more students. 

Soar wants food insecure students to know about Lend-A-Wing, and for students to utilize Lend-A-Fit, when it opens, to borrow business professional outfits. 

When referring toLend-A-Wing, D’Amico responded: “It’s hard for college students. A lot of us don’t have money to go out and get fresh groceries.” 

As a response to another marketing issue, Soar wants students to view SG as accessible and approachable. D’Amico emphasized the importance: “We want to help the students because that is what we are here for.”

After explaining safety and engagement, Soar explained their focus on accountability as a way to cleanse SG from previous toxicity. 

“Students can come talk at any of our meetings. As such, they can see everything we are doing and can see how we are voting, and they can hold us accountable for that,” explained Likosar.

Soar wants to focus on tangible goals to make sure they will be able to achieve them. Sullivan clarified: “Everything we’re running on is tangible. It’s something we can get done. It’s not going to take years. Everything we run on is something to do to help the students to see change on campus.” All three founders have experience in SG, so they know what can and should be accomplished. 

The upcoming Senate Debate will take place on Oct. 11 followed by the election on Oct. 20 and 21.