For Those Confused By UF
With the two traditional parties announced, I thought I’d take a moment and briefly clear up some confusion. Most people describe SG as a battle between the FBK/Greek crowd and those that are “Independent” of that system.
But really, SG has at least 4 groups at play in any one election cycle:
FBK Greeks – These guys dominate SG, having won every election from 1993-2003, as well as 2005. They want FBK to continue to dominate, because they dominate FBK. Nothing wrong with that, and they usually have the votes to keep things in line. When they lose control, that’s when the unethical behavior usually starts.
NonGreeks – My term for Independents who some believe “sold out” to the FBK crowd. In reality, they accept the FBK/Greek dominance, as long as they get a chance at the glory. If I recall correctly, John McGovern – perhaps the least ethical FBK-backed Student Body President in the last decade – was actually a NonGreek.
Dissident Greeks – Usually they have a temporary grievance with the System, perhaps the number of taps their House has been getting. But they are willing to break with the system, and often align themselves with the Independents. Some, after their dissident experience, are better leaders even as they go back to the System.
Independents – The die-hard crowd unaffiliated with a Greek House, although they may have strong organizational or multicultural backing. The usual themes among this crowd is government reform and higher voter turnout, and an occassional fiscal responsibility platform. They usual form the core of any opposition party, and have only won or come close to winning by aligning with Dissident Greeks. Jamal Sowell, a Multi-Cultural Greek, lead such a coalition to victory under the Access banner in 2004, the first such victory since 1992.
Sadly, this is why there really is no progress made in SG. We continue to believe that these groups are only out for themselves. My god, what would happen say if a candidate truly believed in helping the students, perhaps ALL the students. Better yet, they wanted ACCESS for ALL Students.
My first two years at this university, i read the alligator, talked with the candidates, and made a choice based on who sold it the best.
If you are going to say that there are groups, please move the Multi-Cultural Greek and NPHC to the normal Greeks or dissident Greek section. They are still Greek, and almost always side with the Greeks. (Jamal being the exception)
I also take exception with the Non-Greek and independents groups as well. You probably are the same person that calls a conservative Democrat or liberal Republican, a DINO or RINO. People can be of the same background, but have different thoughts about something and still be part of the same group. Perhaps the non-Greeks, believe in moving ahead with being Greek. They know who is in power and thus work with them. There is nothing wrong with that. They are helping themselves and at the same time probably working their butts off to make sure the Greeks notice their strengths.
Perhaps you misread my post. I was trying to point out that there are distinctions between the usual Greek/Independent divide, when some Independents go with the System, and some Greeks easily jump ship.
I don’t see anything wrong with that, but I do know those who break the stereotypes are often doing it for self-interest, which is fine. Remember, I said some people – not necessarily me – thought they sold out.
And as I said, Independents and Greeks are often willing to work together to achieve victory for their group (Access in 2004, or either of the 2002 versions of Swamp and Ignite, are good examples).
In fact, 2002 is the best example of when even these 4 demographic groups break down and scramble the political calculus. And you should have seen it – I was accused of disloyalty to a clique of independents who showed no loyalty to me just because I frequently talked to the NonGreeks and Dissident Greeks who formed Swamp.
This post was only the first in observations I plan to make about UF during this Spring season, so please hear me about before making assumptions about DINO this and RINO that.
I apologize, long day and that post was a lot harsher than it needed to be.
Your right. I hope you do continue to tell us, but I would still classify MGC and NPHC as Greeks or at least dissident Greeks. While when we say Greeks, we normally mean IFC and PC, I think we all can look at where these groups have lined up and say unless something real bothers them (ie Jamal not getting the spot) than I think you will see them always line up with the Greeks. I would even point to the fact that a strong african american female (Diane Kassim) could muster the support of the community, despite have decent credentials.
MGC this year will split off though as a dissident group can (as you have suggested).
In reality, I can’t think of any of the elections other than Jamal’s when they didn’t. I know you know a few more elections than me, but I still can’t think of any (maybe Gil and Marc’s ??(a bit before my time)).
I know we had support from the BSU and HSA in Gil’s election against Adler, but I don’t think we had the Multicultural Greeks. We may have had some support within the group, but it had to be just like the rest of SUN’s Greek support, which was limited.
You’re right, the MCGC is just as much a part of the Greek community and its political leanings as the IFC and NPHC, and I do believe Jamal was the only exception to the rule.