TheRaDiKaL: Ok Sam, let's get the intro question out of the way. When did you arrive at UF, where from, what clubs were you initially involved with, are you Greek (why or why not?), and why on Earth did you get involved in Student Government?
Sam Miorelli: I arrived at UF in the Fall of 2005 from Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School. I’ve lived in Florida my entire life. I’m not Greek primarily because when I rushed with my friend we never got a compelling answer at any of the houses (and we visited them all) to the question: “what makes (insert greek letters here) different?” Everyone’s answer was “well, uh, we’ve got brotherhood!” I’m a PIKE and Theta Chi legacy which makes for much hilarity at the idea of me becoming a frat brother of Kevin Reilly among SG circles.
My involvement in SG seemed pretty natural after leaving high school, though when I got here I had no idea what was going on. I was involved in SGA at my high school extensively: I rewrote our school’s constitution and was one of two students who convinced the Brevard County School Board to change their policy on students carrying cell phones on campus with a proposed policy which we wrote and implemented at Cocoa Beach. When I got to UF though, I had no idea what SG party politics was like. I lived in Hume and wanted to run in the Fall so I went to slating. The Assistant Supervisors of Elections basically told me that I should slate Gator because they were a better party and Gator led me directly out of the slating room and into their offices. I was interviewed by Laura Gonzalez and left convinced that I’d be picked. I didn’t even know another party existed, I just thought it was some sort of school spirit thing that made for good graphics.
Honestly even if I hadn’t been slated I might’ve worked for Gator if they’d treated me well. Instead they didn’t even to e-mail to tell me that I wasn’t slated until about 4pm the day after slates were announced and by that time my friend Joe Trimboli had already found out that Impact had slated him and Gator hadn’t slated me. I ran as an independent candidate and lost miserably but learned tons about how SG works in the process. Along the way Tommy Jardon explained the FBK-SG-DSO connections and I’ve been pretty much hooked as an anti-system crusader ever since.
TheRaDiKaL: Getting right into it, give us the inside scoop on the momentary defection of Sen. Eric Wolf. Some and what, if anything, did YOU do PERSONALLY to keep him in the ranks of the Orange & Blue Party?
Sam Miorelli: Eric is a turncoat, plain and simple. I’ve seen this type of person in indie politics so many times it makes me sick. They join because they want a t-shirt and a bunch of resume lines. Essentially they work on the indie campaign for the same reason Gator’s people do: their own personal gain.
His work ethic during the campaign was nearly nonexistent and no sooner was he elected than he was out having lunch with Ryan Day (turncoats stick together I guess). We knew a rat was up and did our best to have handlers at their liaisons to keep an eye on things. Basically as long as O&B wanted to play pussy with Gator and not make anyone mad, Eric was all for it. As far as I was concerned Eric was dead to me when he cut Ben Dictor’s knees out from under him on the Aramark issue from his Judiciary Committee to try and co-opt the Orange and Blue Party. When his defeat was finally sealed he picked sour grapes over our platform and disaffiliated specifically to try and prevent me from serving on R&A and asking questions that his buddy Kellie thinks are either inappropriate for R&A (like asking someone applying for the Budget Committee if they know where the finance regulations are in Statutes).
After the impeachment hearing where he joined Gator in their vote even against the factuality of an 800 code he was asking Kellie how to get integrated into Gator and know which way they’d want him to vote on things. I’ve known he was going to join the Gator Party sooner or later and I think his lack of personal conviction in cleaning up SG and preference for convenience at the cost of student interest will find a nice home in the Gator Party. His “independence” (he has yet to have the balls to officially register Gator) is a testament to his lack of conviction in anything but his own self-importance; he is a system tool through and through.
TheRaDiKaL: Orange & Blue fielded Tommy Jardon for president. Jardon is perhaps the last member of the Old Guard and a fine selection for SBP, though he was consistently overlooked in favor of less than stellar candidates. Will Sam Miorelli step up to the plate in '09 as a serious candidate for the O&B presidential nomination? Explain this one thoroughly please.
Sam Miorelli: I am currently scheduled to graduate in May 2009 so unless I stay at UF for law school, running for SBP is out of the cards. Additionally I’ve always said I would not be willing to run unless it was a true online election. I think those two requirements pretty much rule out 2009 for me but stranger things have happened and expedited review by the 1st DCA certainly helps.(Taks LSATS in December, apply by deadline, and you're eligible, that's what Jennifer Puckett did with grad school).
TheRaDiKaL: To what extent, if any, has Orange & Blue been able to forge working-relationships with members of, or, the Gator Party itself. What pieces of legislation stand as a hallmark of your bi-partisan efforts to date?
Sam Miorelli: Once upon a time I honestly considered myself to be friends with many of the Gator Party’s top brass. As freshmen many of us worked together in agencies or campaigned good-naturedly side by side. However as I have seen them age and gain power, they have become like all the others: willing to lie, cheat, and even break the law to achieve their political goals. I respect people who are honest with me and themselves, unfortunately that trait is nearly nonexistent among the Gator Party. There are still a few good apples, some of whom I predict will be joining us in the Fall, but in consideration of their own safety and that of their student organizations (yes, Gator still intimidates student groups with threats of budget cuts) I’ll leave them nameless until they make the change known themselves.
That said, we had some major successes on a few 700 Code reforms and getting rid of a few salaries for SG officials this summer as we worked with Gator. I look forward to using a strong showing in the Fall election to advance on our charge against SG salaries, cell phones, and the dozens of other places where money is wasted.
TheRaDiKaL: How would you rate the Senate leadership under President Kellie Dale? How often are the rules suspended for trivial matters, how fair is she as a presiding officer?
Sam Miorelli: Kellie is a pretty abysmal Senate President. Her knowledge of Robert’s Rules, Rules and Procedures, Statutes, and the Constitution are elementary at best. She regularly makes the wrong ruling on questions of parliamentary procedure and her methods of handling votes whereby she essentially calls the vote in whatever favor she wants it to go regardless of whether or not the whole Gator Party might’ve voted the other way is difficult to believe. Most of her colleagues seem to share similarly low opinions of her performance thus far at any sort of leadership from the Senate and I think her job performance here could be a serious limitation on her chances at getting the FBK nod for running for Student Body President. That said, I’m told Nikki Fried is pushing or her so maybe there are chances after all.
TheRaDiKaL: Who are the real loud mouths and/or jerks from the Gator Party that give your senators the hardest time and/or openly berate you? Please name them and describe their tactics as elaborately as possible.
Sam Miorelli: I would say that each of us has a different “favorite” for this, but to me, the worst by far is Jimmy Carelsen. His philosophy, as best I can tell, is something akin to “we’re always right and if you say otherwise I’ll move to remove you from chambers.” He is almost always the first one to try to limit or cut off debate; especially when the facts are damaging for Gator.
TheRaDiKaL: To date, what has been a vote or stance you've taken on an issue or resolution, that you would like to take back or relive - and why?
Sam Miorelli: I’m a pretty instinctual guy when it comes to SG issues: I know what I’d want as a student and I can smell a Gator Party move for political patronage a mile away. I’m proud of my record in Senate and in the Orange and Blue Party and look forward to taking that record to the voters.
TheRaDiKaL: Ok, let's discuss Student Body Treasurer Paul Drayton. Do you find it unethical that once knowing he'd won office that he'd even apply to an out-of-state summer-long internship? Focusing only on his employment decision(s) and role as SBT, please share give your thoughts.
Sam Miorelli: To me this is a prime example of just how screwed up SG is. Drayton gets a wonderful opportunity at JP Morgan that will certainly advance his career. Anybody would pick the internship, and yet instead of focusing all of his time on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, he keeps grasping at power to the very end. The claims that his internship is somehow going to educate him and make him a better Student Body Treasurer are just offensive to the intelligence of all Gators. Drayton wanted to have it both ways and typically Gator backed him up. The losers in all of this, as usual, are the students and organizations that enter the Fall three months behind in planning their programming and budgets.
TheRaDiKaL: Do you believe that the Student Body Constitution allows the SBT to arbitrarily create positions out of thin air and rule by proxy? What do you think about the Student Body President giving official statements to the Independent Florida Alligator that clearly counter the Student Body Constitution? Should Reilly be censured or found in contempt of the Student Senate?
Sam Miorelli: Obviously this “interpretation” of the Constitution is more properly termed an “imagination.” Again, I’d like to think we’d be shocked by this but Gator has been pulling these shenanigans for years with the support of the SG “professional” staff and the implicit support of Dr. Patricia Telles-Irvin who time and again refuses to stop them and protect the students from their own Student Government run amok.
TheRaDiKaL: Would you consider pushing your party to file Articles of Impeachment against Brett Roth, the absent-Director of Chomp the Vote?
Sam Miorelli: I’m not entirely sure how we would go about handling the Chomp the Vote issue but unfortunately time is not on the students’ side here. Chomp the Vote has done nothing all summer and even if we were to remove Roth I’m not sure we’d get a better replacement in time to register students to vote before the election. Kevin Reilly has forced us to trust him and Brett on this matter. So far every time I’ve had to trust Kevin that something would happen right or properly I’ve gotten burned so I’m expecting nothing less than ineptitude from the Reilly administration on this too.
TheRaDiKaL: Given the honorable resignation of Vice President Lydia Washington, do you feel that from Boyles to Moseley to Reilly that each consecutive System administration has become more and more blatant insofar as their abuse of power and less concerned with any possible repercussions their decision-making may have on the future of Student Government and the well-being of the Student Body? Please expound.
Sam Miorelli: Each is a product of the last. They see what the last was able to get away with and think they can take it one step further. Again this is something that you would expect that Dr. Telles-Irvin, who regularly talks about SG as a “leadership organization,” would want to stop if for no other reason than to protect the integrity of the organization she oversees. So far though, it seems that nothing short of a court order or a massive electoral defeat will solve the problems we have in SG.
Frank Bracco: Hardest worker in SG
Paul Drayton: Power hungry egotist
Will Foster: Hilarious, off to greener pastures
Kellie Dale: Inept, little regard for the law
Eric Wolf: desperately wants to be a “cool kid”
Cain Norris: energetic but a campaign unknown
Jimmy Carlsen: self congratulatory and fears debate
Daniele D'Oyley: disregards her biggest duties for politics
Mary Grace Bell: expert in doublethink
"GLENDA”: thinks she’s in charge, destructive
The Independent Florida Alligator: their vigilance is our only hope for reform
Bernie Machen: wrong priorities, uninformed, replaced soon
Tommy Jardon: cynical old war horse, my friend
Orange & Blue Party: hardest working, brilliant, ideological friends
Sam Miorelli: just trying to make SG respectable while I’m here