Your 2015 guide to UCF's SGA presidential elections
The time has arrived for students to vote for the new Student Government Association student body president and vice president. Students can vote on my.ucf.edu or at the SGA Election Commission tent outside the Student Union.
To help students during the election process, the Central Florida Future has put together a voting guide with information about each of the candidates.
Brian Zagrocki & Alex Bennett
Slogan: "A new day. A new knight."
Platform: Zagrocki and Bennett have emphasized closing the "disconnect" between SGA and students on campus. They hope to do this by creating more opportunities for students to voice their feedback and concerns about SGA, such as through online services, monthly town hall meetings and an ambassador program. If elected, they would also work to extend Health Center and library hours, help with the library expansion project, create a phone app to help students detect vacant parking spots on campus, and address campus safety. The candidates have also addressed integrating the different heritage months into SGA's services.
Cait Zona & Jarell Jones
Slogan: "Unleash Your Legacy"
Platform: Cait and Jarell hold campus safety as a top priority in their platform goals. If elected, they want to work to increase inclusivity for regional-campus students, bring more resources to regional campuses and create a new phone app that would connect student to different departments on campus. Cait emphasized her goal of lobbying for textbook affordability for students and advocating for security cameras in parking garages. She and Jarell hope to streamline student organization processes and create Knightro's Suits, which would allow students to have access to free or affordable professional outfits with a similar vibe of Knight's Pantry.
Endorsements: Former SGA President Melissa Westbrook, current SGA president and vice president Weston Bayes and Sydney Altfield
Richard Stein & Mo Barhamje
Slogan: "Stand for Students"
Platform: Stein and Barhamje's goals include creating more connectivity between current students and alumni through an online portal called MyAlumni, increasing SGA transparency regarding its services and finances by revamping the website and giving students opportunities to report to SGA any harassment they experience on campus. If elected, they also hope to make KnightConnect more user-friendly and prioritize registered student organization funding in the SGA Senate.
Endorsements: College Democrats at UCF
Candidates hit the campaign trail Feb. 23, and since then the presidential hopefuls have made headlines.
Stein received permission from UCF to use a swear word in his campaign, as part of his "Bullshit Commission," a direct portal he plans to create, if elected, which would allow students to report complaints they have about the UCF campus.
Stein and his running mate Mo Barhamje say that fellow candidate Brian Zagrocki had attempted to persuade them to drop out of the SGA race. Zagrocki invited the two to meet at the Reflecting Pond at 1:30 a.m. and allegedly told them they had no chance of winning because of their lack of SGA experience. Zagrocki said this is "absolutely not true."
An affidavit recently filed requesting review of Zagrocki's campaign rally at Buffalo Wild Wings, claiming that the candidate provided food at the event, a violation of SGA election statutes. Zagrocki said this is not true and he has documented evidence from the manager of the restaurant. A hearing is scheduled for Friday, April 3 at at 7 p.m. in the Student Union's Pensacola Board Room.
Members of organizations on campus, including UCF's Fashion Club, posted on Facebook that Zagrocki and his running mate, Alex Bennett, did not show up to the organizations' meetings when they were scheduled to present their campaign. Zagrocki apologized to the organizations and said he and Bennett they're so busy they can't always make it to every meeting.
SGA Senate President Pro Tempore Sara Gomez told the Future that Bennett told someone Zagrocki planned to resign from the presidency, if elected, at the end of the fall semester. Zagrocki said this is not true, and emphasized that his future internship will not interfere with his term if elected.
To learn even more about the candidates, check out or coverage of the SGA presidential debate here. You can also read columns written by the candidates themselves under our Opinions tab.
Nada Hassanein is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @nhassanein_or email her at NadaH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.