The following is an open letter to UCF students from SGA presidential candidates Christopher Clemente and Rachel Altfield.

Sometimes, it's hard to remember why we're doing this. After our first day of campaigning, we're exhausted, sunburned, and we've started to lose our voices. But then it clicks. It's a shouted sentiment from across campus: "I voted for you!" It's seeing people putting in their time and effort to campaign for us because they believe in us. It's a student genuinely appreciating our plan for making SGA even more transparent than it is today.

Even though we're losing our voices in this process, we're running because we don't want you to lose yours.

Students at UCF face a lot of challenges, both presently and in the years to come. The cost of a university education continues to rise. Student lives are put at risk depending on where they rent an apartment. Finding a job is a challenge for all graduates.

While SGA might not be able to fix all of those problems, we believe that it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to be a part of the solution. That's why we're committing to lobbying for an extension of Bright Futures into the summer and a reduction of the excess credit hour surcharge, to building a police substation at the Student Union and to partnering with Uber for discounted rates for students, and to helping students network with professionals in their field.

But, of course, that's just the beginning of our platform. We mean it when we say that we have the most detailed, comprehensive, and achievable platform in this election. We have over forty platform points, representing our commitment to campus life, safety, advocacy, transparency, sustainability, health, and transportation. Each of these points is achievable and workable within our administration's year in office While others may be interested in making empty or hollow promises to students, we're committed to making our #KnightVision a reality.

It is because of the depth of our experiences that we uniquely understand the issues that UCF faces and the solutions that are required. Chris’s experience in Cabinet, first as Facilities and Transportation Coordinator and then as Chief-of-Staff, has given him the firsthand knowledge of how to see proposed policies into fruition. Rachel’s experience in Senate, in which she has helped over 70 student organizations and over 5,000 students receive over $600,000 in SGA funding for travel, conferences, and on-campus events, has given her the firsthand knowledge of how to develop meaningful solutions to real student problems.

SGA may not always seem like it, but it demands serious work from serious leaders. We're serious about making UCF a better place to live, learn, and work. Over the next few days, we will have election booths stationed throughout campus, and we will personally be speaking to students about our #KnightVision. We intend to be the most transparent administration in SGA history, and that begins with you, asking questions of those who hope to win your vote and your support. We welcome your questions, your feedback, and your suggestions.

We are Christopher Clemente and Rachel Altfield, and it is with enthusiasm that we approve this message.


Christopher Clemente and Rachel Altfield are running for SGA president and vice president in the Spring 2016 SGA election.

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