On April 1, Cait Zona and Jarell Jones were announced as the new Student Government Association president and vice president. With more than 7,000 total votes, the pair topped their opponents with 63.74 percent. The Central Florida Future caught up with the new leaders to discuss their plans.
CFF: What is a top priority for you?
Zona: That's really campus safety and lobbying. We already started setting up meetings with campus departments and administrators, but we want to get out there and be advocates first. We want to make sure we're being as transparent as possible.
Jones: Cait and I want to tackle things on an individual basis. Her main thing is advocating and student lobbying … My thing is to reach out to [Registered Student Organizations] and have better communication between SGA and RSOs.
CFF: What would that entail?
Zona: It all comes down to advocating, so we can't mandate any jurisdiction things … but we can make sure that we're listening to students. We have this whole thing now with concealed carry on campus, so we talked with different people in different areas, we sit down with Orange County and UCF PD.
Jones: I would reach out to the student organizations, and those who are willing. I want to have pretty much a roundtable meeting or open forum … to build a relationship with SGA and each other.
CFF: First thing you would hope to accomplish?
Zona: The first tangible thing is we definitely want to start reaching out and looking at Knightro's Suits, so getting all the resources for summer internships … make sure we start meeting with Knights Pantry. The first non-tangible thing is making sure tomorrow's students are connecting with their legislators and making sure that … they have their have voices heard in Tallahassee.
Jones: Working on communication and transparency. Letting students know that we're here to serve them. I want to make sure we have more face-to-face marketing, putting a face to SGA.
CFF: What should students look forward to the most from your leadership?
Zona: I would say transparency, so we want to be out there in the open as much as possible, even if it comes down to just letting students know how we feel on any issue, if it comes down to any events, programming, campus safety.
CFF: What do you want students to know right now about your leadership?
Zona: It's an honor to be the next student president elect. You know, with the passion and all of the values that I've learned here in student government and learned with time, I promise to be a fearless leader that is driven by students' wants and needs.
Nada Hassanein is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @nhassanein_or email her at NadaH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.