TR: Why are you running for SBT? And what direct experience, if any, do you feel you have for this position?
Elizabeth Stinson: I'm running for SBT because as a student working directly with the office I felt that there were major changes that could be made in order to help students and student organizations reach their greatest potential on campus. After being involved on campus I simply wanted to make a difference in how student government helped students and felt that this was the best way to do it.
As for direct experience with the SG treasurer's office, I am currently the Conference Services director for the Model United Nations debate team on campus. I've had to work directly with the treasurer's office regarding ModelUN trips which are subsidized 50% by SG. I've seen the inner workings of the treasurer's office from a student's point of view, and have learned quite a bit about what goes on to make the treasurer's office work.
TR: What are some issues that you feel are of particular importance to you? And what innovations, if any, do you have for the office of SBT?
Elizabeth Stinson: Streamlining of the process that students go through in order to use their budgeted money is a very important priority for me. Student groups on campus need to be able to access their funds quickly without all the messy useless red tape that they have to go through now. I want to make it easier for student groups to access and use their funds for what they want to do.
I also want to make it where groups can use more of their budget for food expenses. If a group hosts a lot of events, or has a use for it, there is no need for them to be capped to the small amount that they are now in the amount of food they can buy. It's their money; let them use it in a way that's useful for them.
I want to make the processes more clear to students. Putting the information about SARs, various budget rules, etc. into a friendly format that students can read online would be a main point for me and be a big help for students. When I was working on travel for the Model United Nations team, I made a lot of trips to the treasurer?s office that could have been eliminated if I had a user friendly website with all of the codes and information in one place that was easy to read.
TR: In what ways, if any, does the PANTS Party differ from the Gator Party?
Elizabeth: This is an easy question. Pants differs from Gator in that we want to represent the entire student body and not just specific
interests placed on a platform. The Pants Party platform is student oriented and practical. A lot of our platform points are ideas that should have been put into action years ago. We want all students to have an active role in student government. We want an open administration that attempts to communicate with Students weekly not twice a year during the elections.
TR: To your knowledge, has the PANTS Party run a clean campaign up to this point and should your party ever consider carrying out ethically-questionable tactics, what would your response be? As the SBT candidate, how informed are you of campaign-related operations?
Elizabeth: Pants has run an extremely clean campaign. We feel that our campaign should be as clean and open as we want student government to be. All of our meetings are open to the public and anyone is welcome to attend. We even invited the Alligator to watch us as we picked our candidates. All our candidates have the opportunity to help out in the process of campaigning. If someone in the campaign has a good idea, we'll use it. Pants isn't about secrecy, we aren't about back-room deals or bar tabs at local bars. If the campaign considered dirty tactics, my answer would be no, but that's sort of like asking what I would do in the event of an alien invasion.
TR: Are the pants being displayed on these poles clean? There are growing concerns that your party has not done the laundry.
Elizabeth: We use a ton of Febreeze.
TR: What are you feelings on CLAS cuts and the growing concerns that some of UF's best professors are in fact on their way out? Do you feel that there is any way SG can have an impact on this realm of campus policy or do you think SG's critics use to SG's detriment since student officials are virtually powerless on the matter?
Elizabeth Stinson Student Government can be a very powerful lobbying tool to tell the faculty what the students want. We will do what we can to express to the administration that the students are unhappy with the proposed cutting of the CLAS budget. We understand that CLAS is vital to the majority of students on campus and we are upset over the unfair cutting of the CLAS budget. This is going to adversely affect UF's reputation and the quality of the education that UF provides to its students. We will do everything in our power to let the administration know that we are unhappy with their policies regarding class.
TR: Tell us about your presidential candidate, what qualities do you believe he possesses (aside from his cabinet directorship) that truly make him a better choice to lead students than GATOR Presidential candidate Ryan Moseley?
Elizabeth Stinson: Bruce is one of the most dedicated and creative student leaders on campus. He's got the drive to turn student government into something much greater than it is now. His ideas and enthusiasm for student government are unmatched by pretty much anyone here at UF. He started Pants on his own as a true indie party on campus and has taken that idea from last semester and turned it into a party with great ideas for the campus as a whole. Starting a movement on your own is an incredibly difficult thing to do, and Bruce has managed to do it with flying colors. Hopefully the student body will help bring Bruce's idea of a student oriented student government to fruition.
TR: Any parting words?
Elizabeth Stinson: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be interviewed on your blog. It was a lot of fun to answer your questions. I'm really excited about the elections this year and am glad that I got to answer some questions for your readers.