Sen. Jon Ossip,
Sen. Gary Benedix,
Sen. Alan Yanuck,
Sen. Dave Schneider,
Sen. Zach Mori,
Sen. Dylan Billodeaux,
Sen. Travis Baker,
Sen. Stacey Gray,
Sen. Jacob Fyda,
Sen. Alden Gillespy::
Congratulations on your election to the University of Florida Student Senate. I too was elected to this prestigious body in the Spring 2004 and I can honestly relate to the hard work, the sacrifice, and the abuse you all must have taken on the campaign trail.
The Orange & Blue Party was a party that evolved from a very special line of independent parties at UF. O&B went back to basics and raised an old, GDI plan of attack from the dead. No racial cards, no celebrity candidates, no renegade ruling party hacks -- just 'plain, in your face independent kids ready to fight to the wire and kick some FBK ass.' And you did that and in the many races you didn't, you were shy by just enough of votes for others to have allegedly cooked the numbers enough to have escaped your wrath.
You have a great deal to be proud of, but your hard work and sacrifice should be exchanged for a select few to collect titles and selfishly align themselves (bargaining with your name and your networking) to receive larger benefits for themselves.
To quote one of your leaders, Sen. Mark McShera, who currently 'won' a post a Member-At-Large of the Senate's most powerful committee:
"I hope to be able to run for re-election this Spring for CLAS, serve out a second Senate term ending in March 2010 and then graduate in May 2010. To quote General William Sherman, "If drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve."
All I'm saying to you fine, newly elected leaders is to be weary of colleagues more interested in themselves than in the pursuit of the greater good. I want all of you to look at Senators Miorelli (party president), McShera (plan re-election), & Cavatero (re-elected)... look at what they get during this session and then look at your group and see what you get. If at the end of the day you're subsisting of bread and water and your collective voice is brokered several meetings in advance -- then please consider doing the honorable thing: disassociation from the Orange & Blue Party. You will still be able to fight the O&B Platform, only you will not subscribe to the shady backroom deals.
Remember, you were elected to serve the students, not serve the party. You were told by your leaders that you were Independents, but today your 'Independent Leaders' break bread and cavort with the very scoundrels that have bogged down this University's Student Government since the 1930's.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE PART OF THE LIE.