The campaign began with a whimper last fall, when the usual majority swept nearly every seat up for grabs. It hit a fever pitch when 18 sitting senators stood up and rejected the status quo. And it ended with record high turnout and the first major upset on UF campus since 2004.
It is a plot that I literally could not have written, but in many respects could have easily foreseen. Every upset in the last 30 years has usually involved the majority party taking one of its constituent components, usually minority groups, for granted to the point of open rebellion with a candidate or slate that is so personally popular that they overwhelm the normal turnout figures. Such turnout completely wrecks the voting calculus that the majority party depends on, that being the votes in the Greek-letter community and their non-Greek allies will always deliver the 5000 or so votes needed to ensure a win (even if it is not always easy).
I cannot help but love watching UF elections from a distance. They are a reminder of how strong principles really can power an underdog campaign – maybe not always to electoral victory, but always to the moral high ground.
I endorsed and donated to this year’s Access Party, much as I had in 2004 to that year’s Access Party. Never much, and far less than I should, but it is a nice token of appreciation that the cause I held so dear during my most idealistic moments is still being fought for by the generations that came after me on that campus.
When I first attempted an SG parody with a kid named Mike Adams, I never expected to see some of the nationally recognized scandals that have come out since I graduated. Explicitly cancelling ads over a disagreement with a newspaper. “Green means go.” Denying sorority sisters food until they voted. A rediscovery every few years of the shamefully corrupt history of FBK dating back to their F*** Off Chris U Suck days that landed them in court, which exposed their System method of control. I could go on and on.
But for every gator, current, alums, and future, the Gator Nation needed to seize its chance to make a change. Another year of the status quo, another year of corruption and national embarrassment, another year of the same old network in charge, is another year wasted. Fortunately for us, the Gator Nation answered the call and delivered the biggest upset in 11 years.
Congratulations, Access Party!