“Soar to new heights”: Meet SG’s Soar Party

Mallory Pace, Government Reporter

As the United States heads toward primary elections, the University of North Florida (UNF) Student Government (SG) is also amid its own election season. The 2022 Fall senator election has begun with new students and fresh faces beginning to run for one of the twenty open senate seats under the previously established parties, Soar and Unity. 

The Soar Party

 Emily Sullivan is a junior at UNF studying kinesiology. She is the current Senate President Pro Tempore, held the Budget and Allocations chair last year and this year will be her third year with SG if re-elected. Sullivan established the Soar Party in the fall of 2021 with another student who recently transferred schools, leaving most of the running up to her. Sullivan currently has 10 senators running under the Soar Party, including herself. 

Emily Sullivan
 Headshot of Emily Sullivan.

“Soar to new heights” is the slogan of the Soar party which has three main initiatives aiming to capture its goals and values:

  1. Safety
  2. Engagement
  3. Accountability

In June 2021, Sullivan authored an Osprey Voice survey asking students about campus safety and how they would feel in the event of an emergency. The survey found that students wouldn’t feel comfortable providing help if there was an emergency on campus and didn’t know how to use emergency medical devices, such as an automated external defibrillator (AED) – a device used to deliver an electric shock to restore a normal heart rhythm for someone in need.  

Sullivan has worked as a lifeguard since she was 14-years-old, so having students feel comfortable and ready to help in an emergency — like being CPR certified — is something she finds very important.  

Sullivan discussed ideas of how to make CPR certification courses more accessible and affordable to students, like hosting a free CPR day where the first x number of students who sign up can become CPR certified for free.  

For campus engagement, Sullivan explained that her party feels as if UNF is, unfortunately, run like a business, meaning how the most activity on campus happens between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.   

“If you look at other public schools in Florida there’s also stuff going on, so just bringing campus life up,” Sullivan said.  

Sullivan hosted the first-ever car smashing event last Spring during finals week and explained that UNF has a well-sized budget for its students, so making sure initiatives and events are being planned to give back to the students is a part of campus engagement.  

Orange Soar Party logo
The Fall 2022 Soar Party logo.

Tackling campus accountability, Sullivan explained that sometimes people who run for leadership positions don’t always serve as leaders, and instead use their position as a resume builder. She said that senators run on “super cool” initiatives, but don’t necessarily do anything with them after being elected. 

“They have really good ideas, so holding them accountable to their ideas or things they propose and making sure they’re going to follow through with it so we’re helping the students like we said we would,” Sullivan said.  

She explained how the topic of mental health has become less taboo to talk about and increasingly more common in conversation. Discussing how more mental health days can be introduced to UNF is something she and other candidates have been thinking about.  

Another initiative one of her candidates is working on is extending the UNF Osprey Café hours. The Osprey Café is currently open until 9 p.m. and freshmen living on campus are required to have some sort of meal plan, which can be expensive for some students. Sullivan explained that if a student works or can’t make it to the Café before 9 p.m., their options are limited.  

The Senator Debate will be held on Oct. 25 where candidates will have the opportunity to debate with one another about their platforms, student concerns and respond to questions from the public.  

Voting will begin on Oct. 26 and end on Oct. 27. Polling booths will be set up from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the UNF Library and Student Union Plaza for both days. 


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