Meet the candidates: Jordan McCann and Kaitlyn Rodriguez

Kaitlyn Rodriguez and Jordan McCann met in the fall and decided their different perspectives made them good running mates. ORACLE PHOTO/JUSTIN SEECHARAN

Presidential ticket Jordan Franklyn McCann and Kaitlyn Rodriguez are campaigning on their goals for accountability, budget management and communication, or A.B.C., at USF.

Rodriguez, a sophomore health sciences major, originally thought about running for president, but met McCann, a sophomore psychology major, in the fall. She said McCann showed up to senate meetings consistently, despite not being in Student Government (SG). 

“So it took a lot of dedication from him and I highly respect him for that,” Rodriguez said. “…It takes a lot of dedication to do that.”

The president and vice president will lead SG’s executive cabinet for the 2024-25 academic year. 

During their term, they are responsible for appointing fellow student leaders and executing programs, such as the SAFE Team and computer services, to benefit USF’s student body, according to the SG website.

Rodriguez said she ultimately decided to run as vice president alongside McCann’s campaign because he brings the outsider perspective SG needs.

One reason she initially wanted to run for SG president was because she was concerned about how a lack of accountability is affecting students.

“The reason I had chosen to run was because I didn’t like what I was seeing…and it doesn’t really look like anyone is really trying to solve it,” she said.

Rodriguez identified a need for accountability among both administrators and students. She pointed specifically to discrepancies in advice from academic advisers and how it has impacted students. 

The ticket plans to enforce accountability through the president’s role on the Board of Trustees (BOT), which McCann will hold.

He said accountability will “cascade into flawless teamwork” and will lead into their second goal.

“With this, we can more effectively handle the budget issues plaguing organizations and departments, and move with a passion to bring about a golden age for all of our fellow students,” McCann said.

In their budget management goal, Rodriguez said the university is not allocating enough funds to issues impacting students, such as broken elevators.

“That’s the same lame excuse everyone keeps giving: we don’t have money. If we have money for a stadium, I promise you we have money for everything else,” she said.

Rodriguez and McCann both pointed to broken security cameras and dysfunctional emergency blue light phones. 

She said she plans to consolidate the Activity and Service (A&S) fees across campuses. This would raise the fee for Tampa campus students, while lowering the cost for St. Pete and Sarasota-Manatee students. 

A&S fees are paid by students to support student organizations and programs, according to USF’s website.

Rodriguez said this would include a full reconstruction of the A&S fee recommendations committee and campus allocation funding committee, which decide how to allocate the student fees, according to the Finance Code.

“Without doing that, I do not see our A&S pot of money being able to survive,” she said. 

McCann and Rodriguez’s last campaign point is to improve communication at USF. Roriguez identified several instances where USF has failed to effectively communicate with students, including during emergency situations such as hurricanes. 

Through their campaign, McCann and Rodriguez aim to meet students’ needs and address the concerns of the student body if elected as president and vice president.

“I will fight to make USF the greatest it can be, for every single student, and I will never give up on that fight,” McCann said.