Unite Party unveils executive ticket for SG election

Published: Monday, January 31, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 12:32 a.m.

With less than a month to go before the Student Government election, the Unite Party announced Monday the executive ticket it hopes will eventually hold the reins of the University of Florida’s Student Government.

The Unite Party ticket is led by Student Senate President Ben Meyers, who announced his run for student body president last week; Anthony-Ray Reynolds, a public relations and criminology junior, for vice president; and TJ Villamil, a telecommunications junior, for treasurer.

As he introduced his running mates at the Reitz Union Colonnade, Meyers credited Reynolds and Villamil for their Student Government experience and accomplishments.

Reynolds is currently the cabinet chair of the Campus Affairs Division and a member of the executive board of the Asian American Student Union — positions he has held since May 2010. He was also a former officer in the Filipino Student Association from 2009 to 2010.

Villamil is the chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and previously served as a senator for District B in Fall 2009 and as the vice chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee in Spring 2009.

With the Progress Party set to announce its ticket today, Meyers said there are more important things to focus on — like the student body itself.

“This campaign is not focused at all on the opposition,” he said. “I look forward to the positive exchange of ideas and platforms.”

And if this past semester was any signal, the exchange of ideas will largely focus on an opposition to block tuition, which would impose flat-rate tuition fees instead of tuition based per credit hour.

“I feel like block tuition seems like a one-size-fits-all,” Reynolds said. “But I feel like with one-size-fits-all mode — not all students fit into that.”

If Villamil is successful in his run for office, he will oversee the $17 million Student Government-controlled budget financed by student fees. Villamil prioritizes transparency when it comes to the budget, he said, and his accomplishments as the chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee include putting the budget and the budget hearing schedule online.

“I moved us to the 21st century,” he said.

Campus hotspots like Turlington Plaza and the North Lawn up until now have been lightly sprinkled with party members nudging students to get involved in the Student Government elections — but candidates’ visibility should increase swiftly. And although this is just the beginning of the campaign trail for Meyers, Reynolds, and Villamil, the executive office hopefuls say they are eager to pave the way for UF — a place Villamil describes with a term of endearment.

“UF is our home and our life,” he said. “Now let us stand together and unite the campus as one.”

Tuesday is the last day to qualify for a student senate seat or executive position. The two-day SG election is set for Feb. 22-23, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

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