Candidates begin campaign for student body election

As two weeks of campaigning kicks off today, two candidates will vie for the position of student body president a position that serves as the representative of the more than 40,000 students on the Tampa campus, holds a seat on the university Board of Trustees and oversees a budget of more than $14 million in Activities and Service fees.

Taylor Lockwood, a junior majoring in political science, and his running mate Ben Agosto, a junior majoring in finance and economics, will run against William Warmke, a senior majoring in political science, criminology and economics, and his running mate Scott Sandoval, a graduate student in English education.

Lockwood said he and his running mate are running on the slogan your dreams, our goals.

Its really about what students want, he said. Not what some guys in an office want.

Lockwood, who is current student body president Brian Goffs chief of staff, said he and Agosto, an SG senator for the College of Business, would center their campaign around rights, experience and dollars.

Initiatives they hope to pursue include abandoning the plus-minus grading system an issue Lockwood said he has already taken to the Provosts office, canceling afternoon classes on major athletic game days, removing attendance requirements from junior and senior level classes and creating a petition site on the Student Government (SG) website similar to the White House petitions site that allows any individual to post a petition online.

It would be like giving a megaphone to the student body to give them a louder voice, he said.

Lockwood also said he hopes to make SG more accessible to students.

As a freshman, I didnt know much about Student Government, he said. I didnt like that I had to be a primary advisor to see how it worked behind the scenes.

Warmke, former solicitor general for SG and USF Homecoming King, and Sandoval, the current senate president pro tempore, are running on a five-pillar platform they call SHINE.

Warmke said the campaign will revolve around sustainability, honesty, innovation, networking and equality, focusing initiatives on use of the Student Green Energy Fee and USFs commitment to the honor code.

We want to see everyone at USF shine together, he said.

Warmke said he and his running mate, hope to better represent populations previously overlooked including commuter, LGBTQ and graduate students.

These are underrepresented communities, Warmke said. There are only four graduate students involved with Student Government, but (more than) 10,000 graduate students overall. We want to represent these students and all other students … I got a lot out of USF and I hope to give back to USF.

Warmke and his running mate have also launched a website to collect
feedback from students at

Supervisor of Elections Karim Hussein said the Election Rules Committee received three applications for the position of student body president, but one was disqualified. Last year, six candidates ran for the position. In 2011, four candidates ran and in 2010 five candidates ran.

The election will take place between Feb. 25 and Feb. 28.