Ben Cavataro has announced. He’s president of Florida College Democrats, and a two-term student senator from Hume Hall. Now, he’s aiming to be UF Student Body President. If he succeeds, Ben Cavataro would be the first non-Key elected in modern UF history, since the Engineering rebellions of the mid-80s.
Now, of course, two Keys won since then without FBK’s endorsement (in 1992 and 2004). But it’s rare. So he’s got quite an uphill battle.
Still, he can do it. Students don’t vote because they either don’t see the value or don’t expect FBK to lose. But FBK has a ceiling of support (and an admittedly high floor). No matter how many honors kids, frat boys, and minority groups they’ve got, there is always a segment of the student body willing to vote for an independent. They’re typically liberal and/or politically engaged, they’re in the Liberal Arts or Graduate Students segment, and they’re engineers.
It’s doable. And the recent anti-tax fight brewing over a new fee to fund possibly unnecessary Reitz Union renovations may just be the ticket. After all, they added the Bookstore without a new fee. They funded seemingly annual renovations and expansions without a new fee. What on earth would require them to create a new fee to fund this? And why this and not something to protect scholarships or teaching positions?
Good luck, Ben Cavataro. You’re going to need it, but you may also be in for a perfect storm.