The second consolidated term for Student Government (SG) will begin just as the first did, remote and virtual, but with Jaida Abbas and Jennifer Kelly leading the way as the next student body president and vice president, respectively.
Out of the 1,327 ballots cast, 711 were for the Abbas and Kelly ticket and 616 for Julia Cunningham and Jillian Wilson, with Abbas and Kelly winning by approximately a 53% majority.
Abbas and Kelly campaigned on their platform “R.I.S.E.,” which stands for “respond to the disparities of the pandemic,” “integrate new resources,” “strengthen the student body” and “empower students to rebuild.”
Under each letter in the acronym are five to six specific initiatives, including expanding resources for students of color and adding resources and trainings that will support victims of sexual assault, both of which came in light of nationwide protests and on-campus sexual assault allegations that surfaced last summer.
Other initiatives, like “Power Up” and “It’s a Match,” aim to establish systems that will enhance the student learning process, such as installing power sockets in outdoor study locations and creating a matching system for students to get in touch with professors with their preferred teaching style.
“[Jennifer] and I cannot wait to get to work as soon as possible to begin delivering on the promises we made to the student body,” said Abbas in an email to The Oracle.
With a pair of fresh faces leading the executive branch, three new sets of governors and lieutenant governors were also elected to represent their respective campuses.
Alexis Roberson and Kiara Brooks were elected as governor and lieutenant governor for the Tampa campus, with Veronica Jimenez and Eran Fruehauf and Riffatul Islam and Jovanna Arce elected as governors and lieutenant governors for the St. Pete and Sarasota-Manatee campuses, respectively.
Roberson and Brooks ran on the campaign “F.I.G.H.T.,” standing for “forward,” “inclusion,” “growth,” “health” and “transformation.” Each part of the acronym in their platform includes four outlined initiatives. Among these initiatives include the creation of a “nontraditional students celebration week” and “accessibility map” where students can report the inaccessibility or accessibility of facilities on campus.
As for the legislative branch, a total of 53 students were elected to the Senate for the 2021-22 term despite a 60-seat capacity. Each campus is designated a certain number of Senate seats based on its student population. Tampa currently holds 45 seats, St. Pete holds eight and Sarasota-Manatee has seven.
Only two of Sarasota-Manatee’s seats were filled this election cycle. St. Pete was also left with missing seats, with only six of its eight designated seats being filled. The Tampa campus, however, was left with no empty slots as all 45 seats were filled.
Results will not be officialized until all grievances are heard, which is expected to be in the coming week or afterward, depending on the grievance hearing process.