Unity Party primed to claim victory in uncontested Student Government election

Indie Jones and Carter Mudgett

The University of North Florida Student Government election kicks off Tuesday, but the Unity Party, the only party with candidates on the ballot, is set to win before votes are even cast. 

Student Body President Selma Besirevic announced her bid for reelection last month alongside a new face as her vice-presidential candidate, Jake Scott. However, this ticket was short-lived as Besirevic, citing personal reasons, dropped from the election altogether. 

“UNF among other [State University System of Florida] schools aren’t a stranger to uncontested elections. All in all, as long as you are persistent as constituents, no matter who is in office, if your leaders vow to follow the mission of the organization as we all do when swearing-in with the oath, the students should get what they advocate,” Besirevic wrote to Spinnaker. “The opportunity to be involved and be a leader is open to every single student, and I hope to see students enlightened with this fact.”

After an eventful presidential election season last spring, with multiple parties putting candidates on the ballot, hopes were high for another this year. 

The Unity Party presidential candidate Nathaniel Rodefer and vice-presidential candidate Joshua Murray, alongside their ten senatorial candidates, will take the soon-to-be-vacated seats with no contest. 

The Unity Party has nominated Nathaniel Rodefer (left) and Joshua Murry (right) as their presidential ticket candidates for the Spring 2022 election.
The Unity Party has nominated Nathaniel Rodefer (left) and Joshua Murry (right) as their presidential ticket candidates for the Spring 2022 election. The two are committed to emphasizing transparency within SG and expanding student outreach efforts. Graphic courtesy of The Unity Party.

“It is a little bit of a buzzkill, I will admit,” Rodefer told Spinnaker with a laugh. “This is a bit of a funky time. I didn’t quite realize in that moment we would be having a little bit of a pseudo election.”

Acknowledging what he called the positives, “[an uncontested election] doesn’t subject [Student Government] to any of the social-political struggles that come with an election, just simply due to the nature of it.”

Calling the new turn of events “disappointing,” Rodefer expressed sadness at how some students may feel they lose some of their voice in deciding who the next student body president is but directed a message toward the student body on just that. 

Rodefer simply taking the role of student body president “doesn’t degrade the amount of effort” that went toward attaining it, he said, nor does it “degrade the amount of communication that I want to have with the student body.”

SG Manager Tyler Aldinger, who started working with SG in January, had this to say about the election:

“Although this is an uncontested election, we believe that opening the election polls and allowing the UNF community to experience and participate in the electoral process is a great way to show our students that their input and interaction with UNF SG is extremely valued and appreciated!” 

Polling stations across campus will be available between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, with results expected to be released soon after. Students can also participate through MyWings. View the comprehensive election timeline here.


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