Published: Sunday, March 27, 2011
Updated: Sunday, March 27, 2011 22:03
We individually asked all four candidates, 'How do you differ from your opponent?"
- Presidential columns:
True experience necessary, by Nicholas Gurney
In my time serving in student government I have seen a lot of student leaders. Many of these leaders have been successful in academics, other organizations, and in the community. Each and every one of these leaders had an impact on my ability to be a leader within student government.
Some taught me integrity and hard work, while others showed me less than admirable traits.
Through it all, I've been able to separate the good from the bad. I have made it a point, over the past three years, to only associate with those I respect for their strong leadership and upstanding character.
This is the difference.
This is what makes me the best candidate for President. My ability to focus only on what is best for students has allowed me the fortune of being where I am today. I truly believe that this strength is also my opponent's weakness. I also believe that if students look at past accomplishments and decisions, they will agree.
I have always sided with the best interest of the student body, even if it conflicted with my own interests. I cannot say the same for the other side. This is a pivotal trait in looking for the most qualified student body president.
Another essential characteristic is true experience. Each year around this time, candidates all claim to have experience. And they're right. No one goes into this process without any experience.
That being said, it's important to remember what true experience actually means. The experience necessary to be student body president or vice president amounts to more than just holding positions elsewhere. It requires a history of taking tough stances on important issues. I have done that. I have stood strong for individual student rights on campus and increases in funding opportunities for students and organizations.
I urge students to consider all of these qualifications and to watch the debates that have taken place over the past couple of weeks. Once done, I am confident that students will cast their vote for the absolute best candidates: Nicholas S. Gurney and Fernando Gonzales.
— Nicholas Gurney
Approachable, accessible, by Matthew McCann
When dealing with Student Government, I feel one of the most important things to consider is the accessibility and approachability of student leaders. SGA's number one mission is to advocate on behalf of every UCF Knight; but if even a single student feels they can't approach SGA with a concern, then Student Government has failed in its mission.
During the campaigning process, one thing I have heard time and time again from the students I've had the privilege of meeting with is that Adam and I are more approachable individuals.
We have the experience, we've been in these organizations, we've seen what these students have seen and been where they've been. That type of experience has drastically altered how we approach student representation, and we acknowledge that while not every student is engaged, every student has an opinion.
After meeting with so many students during the campaign, Adam and I are very excited about how our image of accessibility has already taken shape.
We heard student concerns, placed them on our official platform, and those we met with acknowledged we were genuinely seeking their input. Our opposition has attacked some of our platform points saying these student concerns are simply impossible to fix. To that we ask students to redefine what is and is not possible.
If a student doubts even for a moment if Adam and I can take action on an issue, they need only visit our website (www.possibilityredefined.com), view our plan, and see exactly how possible some things really are.
- Vice presidential columns:
Financial experience, professionalism, by Fernando Gonzales
My opponent and I share many of the same great qualities however, when it comes down to it, we separate ourselves at two crucial points; experience and professionalism. The President and Vice President are the stewards of the Activity and Service Fee budget. It is imperative that whomever assumes office is competent in the processes and inner working of the ASF budget. Having been afforded the privilege to sit on a fiscal committee for two years, and having served as chair during the latter term, I have hands on experience in dealing with student funds. Over the past two years, I have allocated over $600,000 to both students and student organizations. In addition, I have sat on the Activity and Service fee Committee. One of the important statutorily prescribed duty of the vice president is to break ties on senate. Having served on senate for two terms I know how senate thinks and what they look for.
The election of president and vice-president is not an event that is to be taken lightly. Hitherto, a sense of professionalism is imperative when interacting with students, or meeting anyone associated with the UCF community. The duty of the president is not to be the students' best friend, but to be the advocate for the student body. More importantly, during the past administrations, the SGA office has transformed from a professional office into a social gathering. How one carries oneself in situations of stress often defines the quality of work that can be afforded to the students from the executive administration.