UNF’s Unity Party

Julia Croston, Government Reporter

Before the upcoming Senate election, the Unity party outlined its goals and initiatives for the future of Student Government (SG). Spinnaker spoke with Unity founders Nathaniel Rodefer and Kevin Luhrs. 

Courtesy of the Unity Party.

Unity chose their name to reflect their goal to create unity in SG. Regardless of party affiliation, Unity wants SG to work as one unit. Unity focuses on integrity, ingenuity, and inclusivity. 

To emphasize unity, Rodefer stated: “We’re not talking about party alliance. We’re talking about creating a unity.” 

To Unity, integrity means being honest, transparent, and accountable when representing all students. 

Ingenuity means working with others and thinking outside of the box. Unity’s goal is to generate positive changes for students in any way possible. 

Courtesy of the Unity Party.

For inclusivity, Unity wants to make sure its party affiliation is a place for anyone. Specifically for SG, Unity views inclusivity as representing and advocating for the diverse campus, while upholding integrity and ingenuity. 

As their main priority, Unity wants to improve resources for students engaging in nightlife. As an example, Rodefer displayed a drink smart card while explaining Unity wants to make sure these cards are easily accessible. Drink smart cards are an informational resource used to test drinks for date rape drugs. Rodefer explained: “It is something that is simple, but really should be implemented.”

As an outcome aside from safety, Unity believes improving nightlife safety resources could lead to students performing better in classes, especially with participation.  

As their next initiative, the party hopes to improve the SG-funded lounges in Starbucks and the Student Union. Fixing these spaces will prevent an overcrowded library. Unity wants to reduce noise, increase accessibility, and improve comfort to give students high-quality places to study.

Unity wants to fix small problems in study spaces like broken outlets and loud chairs. Rodefer moved one of the chairs in the Starbucks lounge demonstrating the loud noise. They want to add soft pads under the chair legs to easily fix this issue. 

Photo Courtesy of the Unity Party.

As another goal, Unity wants to add a section in Lend-A-Wing devoted to a variety of menstrual care products. Unity also wants students in need to feel comfortable utilizing Lend-A-Wing. 

According to Rodefer: “If students can’t afford food, they also probably can’t afford hygiene products.” Recently, Lend-A-Wing incorporated a hygiene product section, but there is a very small selection of menstrual care products. The SG budget determines Lend-A-Wing resources, so Unity feels this can be easily accomplished. 

“It’s a very achievable initiative that we can get done almost instantly,” Luhrs added.  

As their final initiative, Unity wants to improve the quality of life for students on campus. This will start with fixing the right ice machine in the Café. 

Rodefer explained: “Students don’t necessarily notice when an ice machine works, but they do notice when it doesn’t because there’s expectation that it will.” 

Unity will work to fix other issues with the quality of life. Rodefer shared pictures of two broken tables in the library emphasizing the fallen bar of support. The party feels this could be hazardous since pieces of the tables could fall on students. 

 Unity has met with future candidates to discuss individual goals. The candidates have shared ideas to increase involvement on campus, provide more resources for students, and more. 

 Luhrs added: “We also want to make sure that they’re ready before they do go into Student Government.” Following this comment, Luhrs explained the importance of the candidates learning ethics before entering SG to exceed expectations.  

 They want to empower candidates to be leaders even outside of SG. Unity wants the party affiliation to carry on after the election and wants to teach candidates necessary skills through informational sessions. They want elected candidates to adapt quickly to their roles to hit the ground running to accomplish more. 

 Students can still submit a declaration of intent to run for Senate with Sep. 27 as the final deadline. The Senate election will take place on Oct. 20 and 21.  


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