Wednesday, February 18, 2009

O&B Nominee, Sen. Mark McShera Speaks!


The Great Hope of UF Independents seems poised to take on Johnson, Dictor!

TheRaDiKaL: When did you arrive at UF and what organizations did you initially get ivovled with?


Sen. Mark McShera: I arrived at UF in Fall 2006 and became involved with the UF College Democrats. I also attended a few Habitat For Humanity and VOX meetings but decided to really stick with College Dems.


TheRaDiKaL: How & Why did you get involved with SG - and - do you see SG as true voice of the students?

Sen. Mark McShera: I got involved with Student Government when my friend Joe Trimboli brought me into the Fall 2007 iteration of the Progress Party. My motivation for getting involved with the SG reform movement was a general dissatisfaction with the way leaders like John Boyles represented the student body.
Currently I do not see SG as the real voice of the students, Again and again SG caves to the administration on issues like the conduct code regulation changes we say in Fall 2008.



TheRaDiKaL: Many members of the System (students & alums) have stated that O&B made a lot of noise, but failed to deliver anything of substance in chamber from Spring '08 - Fall '08. How would you respond to such statements?


Sen. Mark McShera: I would categorically disagree. We almost doubled CLAS's representation in Student Government. Our senators and supporters negotiated with the VPSA's office to make the conduct code changes more palatable. For the first time in recent memory Student Government began actually following Florida law on the Sunshine Standards. Many of our efforts were blocked by the Gator Party out of sheer bad will. I don't think we can be faulted for the failure of resolutions that 80% of students supported and the Gator Party subsequently voted down.


TheRadiKaL: In your own words, how would best (and concisely) describe the split between the two factions of O&B.


Sen. Mark McShera: Ben Dictor knew he would never been democratically nominated by the Orange & Blue Party so, after lying to nearly everyone in the party, he left and formed a third party. Dictor planned to run no matter what. He discussed his current exec ticket as early as October with Donte, the only question that remained was whether he would run under the Orange & Blue name or another. The answer to that is clear now.


TheRaDiKaL: To what degree would attribute the exclusion of Josh Simmons from any post of trust in O&B, to the split of December 2008?


Sen. Mark McShera: Simmons has his own motivations for forming a third party, I wouldn't say splitting from Orange & Blue because he was never a member of the party. Josh wants power and friends, that's all it ever came down to. He knew Joe and Sam or anyone else who knew his history would never trust him or allow him to do anything but pass out flyers. Ben Dictor and his supporters also offered Josh the base of of friends he so badly desired now that Cruts and Grove are gone. Simmons and Dictor played off of each others lust for power but I believe Simmons to be more of a bit player. Ben Dictor was going to run regardless of Josh Simmons. At this point Simmons is just along for the ride.


TheRaDiKaL: In your opinion, what motivated the Progs insofar as demanding disclosure and transparency on the GMG Emails.


Sen. Mark McShera: Ben Dictor's personal political ambitions motivated their witch hunt on the green means go emails. He wanted the party to surrender to him with empty claims about the "Green Means Go" emails. Basically he trumped up the charges he leveled in a last ditch attempt to take over the party.


TheRaDiKaL: Question #1 from Sen. Schneider: what constructive measures in the senate he's put forth to push for online voting? (not including public debate and/or questioning officials)


Sen. Mark McShera: There have been none. Attempting to push online voting in the senate would endanger the Online Voting Lawsuit as it would call into question whether final administrative action has been taken on the Amendment. The only way online voting will ever make it onto the ballot at UF will be under a court order. I suggest Senator Schneider consult both Florida law and student government history on these points.


TheRadiKaL Question #2 from Sen. Schneider: In hindsight, do you regret not adjusting the language of the handscanner bill so as to get the Gator Party behind it and if not, why?


Sen. Mark McShera: I voted for an amendment that made the bill easier for the Senators to understand in an attempt to get the handscanner bill passed. So no I don't have any regrets.


TheRaDiKaL (Question #3 from Sen. Schneider): How does Sen. McShera respond to the allegations that his treasurer candidate is a shameless opportunist, given that he sought the nomination from two parties prior to going to O&b


Sen. Mark McShera: Brandon White is the most qualified candidate to be Student Body Treasurer on the UF campus. Period. His performance in the debates thus far has clearly demonstrated this.

He is a great asset to the ticket.



The RadiKaL (Question from Fmr. CTV Director, Frank Bracco): Do you feel the good ol' boy system still exists at UF and if so in what form? How do you plan to change this system if it does exist?


Sen. Mark McShera: The Green Means Go Scandal proves that it absolutely does. The Gator/Unite Party promises away SG positions and Blue Key taps in exchange for organizational support. The best way to combat it is to appoint the most qualified candidates to all positions in Student Government.


The RaDiKaL (Question from GDI Legend, Nick Capezza): "Would a bicameral SG legislature be better for the student body?"


Sen. Mark McShera: That's an interesting question. I don't really see how a bicameral legislature would be any more effective. A larger chamber of deputies style lower house would allow for more diverse representation but would be impracticable based on colleges and residence areas. A smaller upper house would probably only divide independent support and allow for less competitive elections. Ultimately I don't think it would help.


The RaDiKaL (Question from UF Activist/Progress leader, Jon Bull): If a runoff election takes place between Jordan Johnson and Ben Dictor, could you guarantee Ben your full support?"


Sen. Mark McShera: Absolutely. Ben Dictor has shown repeteadly over the last 3 months that he would make a great Student Body President.


The RadiKaL (Question from Access Party supporter Galen Wood): How would you choose your cabinet - who do you already have in mind?


Sen. Mark McShera: I would have to consult heavily with Stacey on Cabinet Chairs and Directors, as she would be overseeing them. I don't have anyone in mind for cabinet yet. We would ultimately select the person that we thought brought the best ideas and most energy to the position.


Name Association
5 words or less


Sam Miorelli - a warhorse and a good friend
Donte Hargrove - fiery and a relentless campaigner
Toto - That joke is lost on me.
Ben Dictor - Vain
Justin Wooten - Fierce supporter of dictor
Kim Cruts - Simmons ally, minor player in Gator
Nina Martinez - dedicated campaigner
Stacey Gray - Great running mate, poised
Jordan Johnson - Nice guy but not SBP material
Thomas Jardon - History professor of the movement
Skeet Surrency - Smart guy, very funny
Joe Trimboli - one of my best friends, fierce
Glenda Frederick - Another great source of historical information
Kyle Huey - effective at almost everything a campaign needs behind the scenes
James Argento - friend of Will Foster, helped run Access
Christian Duque - always controversial but well intentioned
Ken Kerns - reunion at university ave
Armando Grundy - dedicated to the party


TheRaDiKaL: Any final thoughts?


Sen. Mark McShera: I look forward to the election this Spring and think its the best chance the independent movement has had at a major breakthrough since Access. Hopefully over the next 2 weeks the Orange & Blue Party will continue its trend of expanding election after election, culminating in the victory of of executive ticket.

34 comments:

Bruce Haupt said...

Part of the last approved reply in the previous thread on Brandon White:

"...Though it is ambitious for White to step out on his own, he will, in essence lose and be shunned by SG in his last year. That is not smart for a person interested in FBK and other SG-related positions. His fraternity and supporters will suffer in future years."

Besides getting a Producer spot on Growl or getting nice SG appointments when FBK wins an election, what does it matter if you get into FBK? Define how his fraternity will "suffer."

I'm still lost on this.

Why do houses surrender to them? Why do people decide what organizations they're going to be involved with based on them?

My question continues to be: How is FBK relevant when the resume line doesn't matter any more than ODK does once you graduate?

Bruce

And then, Lo! The Clouds did part, and a booming Voice from on high said...

TheBenDictor has observed the new blog Stuff Ben Dictor Likes, and It is pleased. Know ye that faithful Servants shall be richly rewarded in the aftercollege...

Anonymous said...

"Joe Trimboli - one of my best friends, fierce"

Good descriptor. Have you seen bitch's sunglasses? Fierce!

Anonymous said...

As if Dictor would want the albatross that is the Orange & Blue Party hanging around his neck in a run-off. Please.

Anonymous said...

Simmons doesn't have Cruts as an ally on this one, she thinks he's being an idiot. When she sold out, she sold out big. It's rather sad that he can't even get his turncoat best friends to support his current journey into inadequacy--to think that this could possibly net him new friends is beyond the realm of possibility.

His Asperger's aside, however, Simmons still is a a better human being than Mark McShera could ever dream of being. That that my friends, says something.

Anonymous said...

whooo Sg again finally

The question now goes to Dictor, will he support McShera in the run-off....

No.

Spessard Holland's Ghost said...

I encourage all FBK members within the sound of my voice to get out and support the Unite Party. The FBK Elite had their regularly scheduled meeting last night at the McDonald's in Alachua. After the Ghost of Lawton Chiles and Pedro Allende led us in the pledge and the FBK creed, the members determined that the independent parties are simply playing games in public and are really working together in concert. With two of our operatives on the indie tickets, the FBK mantra will love on for another year. Steve Spurrier, representing the ATOs, assured the Elite that his house was solidly for Unite. The meeting adjourned at 10:15 after BIll McCullum spilled his McFlurry on his pants and the Ghost of Chris Dorworth's shoes.

Anonymous said...

Bruce,

In a nutshell, according to the boasts of the Moseley-office contingent, and others, if FBK members seek it, they will get help from the vast alumni base in their desired sector in Florida's economy or government. They will be offered jobs that few others have access to. They will be given preference in appointments to university and state positions that few other groups receive. When they run for office, there is a nice war chest and brain trust waiting for them. (Dorworth & Rubio) They take care of each other on an ad hoc basis. Think of it as a social fraternity, but much more cohesive and significantly more talented.

Now, the kids who aspire to FBK thinking that it will MAKE THEM misled. It won't make you, but if you're talented, then it will help you along. The organization serves to reinforce and supplement the social status and experiences that their members already bring - think about it, its primarily (not entirely) just wealthy, alpha male frat guys (Paramore, Comiter, JCB, Craig Thompson, Moseley, these types) providing themselves a medium to stroke their ego's and cohabitate with co-eds each week - and at the same time they get a dose of "political reality"... which is another term for "corruption."

This doesn't at all change the fact that it represents an evil that underlies and tarnishes much of the State of Florida. Or that it exists to the detriment of the 47,900 students who are not members of any "venerable tapping class." My point is that to underestimate FBK is a sore mistake in sizing it up and defeating it. To truly take on The Machine we must move forward from this Spring with equivalent firepower to their entire System. The reason we have lost these battles, if SOMEONE's blacked out boasts are accurate, is because we don't have the alumni to call in to the administration on our behalf. They smash us on that front. It MUST be corrected to win this war. We must not underestimate the System.

Justin Wooten said...

Question from Justin: What do you think about the anonymous comments of your party on this blog? Do you think it reflects poorly on your party?

Anonymous said...

Progress is now telling Christian that either Gator or O&B has placed a tail, a Kia Rio, on Dictor.

Dictor must have pissed off the man.

Bruce Haupt said...

Thank you 9:52, I think you've summed very well how FBK doesn't make or break a person, and you've also made some great points about what it offers as far as political power in keeping the status quo. However, my point has always been that if the imaginary power of an FBK tap could be better understood for its actual value by those who aspire to it, then maybe the system could change.

As you said, for someone who will be successful in the future, FBK isn't necessary. So, I've always asked why amazing and good people on campus make decisions they're not comfortable with (related to FBK, not necessarily just joining of course) when they don't need to.

And regarding the Greek system, I don't see why chapters bend over backwards for the system when in return they might get one "ambitious" person into FBK in a year. It's not that important and like most UF students, 99% of brothers/sisters don't care about FBK, much less SG. So why?

Anyway, short story: I remember when I first came onto campus (as a transfer student in Spring 05) and while rushing in my first week of class, the Rush Chair for DU told me about FBK. What my mind was able to process was that this honorary that put on a pep rally was a huge deal and nothing was more important on campus. I have plenty of Gator spirit and all, but I'll say I was confused... and though I know a little more now... I'm still a little baffled.

Anyway, as C.S. Lewis would say, it's not the "inner rings" you belong to that are important, it's the work you do and how you interact with people that makes the difference.

[/End Rant]

Bruce

Anonymous said...

you know what i just realized... justin wooten has been sent from the FBI to destroy the indie movement and SDS

Ken said...

So Duque can finish a McShera interview, but mine's been on the shelf for how long now? LOL.

Anyway, good and informative Q&A. Has Dictor done one yet? If not, will there be one before next week?

Anonymous said...

Rubio is honorary. He wasn't in it before he was speaker of the house

Albert said...

TheRadikal is great, but for those who crave instant gratification from their anonymous debates over the internetz...

http://alberts-corner.blogspot.com/

Joshua said...

Be my friend. Please?

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what Bruce said. Sound logic, but in an illogical place. POI, people love to tie SG and FBK together. They are related but not in such an intertwined way.

Most of the membership is passive about the political dealings of FBK at UF, by the time they get into FBK they are more than likely thinking about the next step, real life, not controlling SG. I don't think most people understand this.


People aspire to be in FBK, because of FBK's perceived power, which BTW is reinforced every time you call the Unite party the FBK party and every time the FBK name is irrelevantly used.

If White has sg ambitions now, who knows where he ultimately wants to go. He could see these same people and their dads when he attempts to run for state office. Not sure they can hurt his chances, but one thing is for sure, they won't help him.

While at UF you establish relationships. The key is to establish as many as possible as you create your foundation for changing the world. I guess most people go along, and join FBK for the long term benefits. It may not get you a job, but it still gets you an interview, trust me I know, they will even tell you that is why they are interviewing you.

Sucks but life is about who you know.


A little idealism is a good thing though, but it is just that, an ideal, and eventually even the indies learn to play ball.

Lastly, White has a super duper good chance of winning, he is gonna get votes from all over the place, or at least he should. Even if he is simply an ambitious kid, looking to advance his resume, he can still do a lot for the indy movement, whether he stays true or not. A lot of other ambitious kids may say screw the Greeks and jump ship, even some Greeks tired of the system.

Justin Wooten said...

12:22 AM is just another anonymous O&B coward spewing bullshit.

Anonymous said...

If Albert would open his comments to anonymous traffic, he would get a lot more hits.

Anonymous said...

So Mr. White has thrown O&B under the bus and is simply working to get himself elected. Don't know if that's going to work in the end.

I wonder how McShera feels about this.

Anonymous said...

To all: rest assure, FBK is still very important in the scheme of things, if you plan to work in Florida or D.C. Mr. Haupt is right. It is not like the mafia. Once you are in, you are not "made." However, once you are in, you have unfettered access to influential members of the state, like never before. From there, it is what you make of it. Mr. Haupt will probably be successful in life, as he self proclaims. Imagine how much better he would be if he had the kind of access FBK would give him. And to all the haters, FBK does not corrupt UF. Just because politics are involved in SG, doesn't mean FBK put it there. YOu are all guilty of playing politics by being on this post and debating the issues. that is what politics are. So don't blame FBK because you want some SG power to stroke your ego. It is who you are. If FBK doesn't tap you or you don't apply, well that is your problem, not theirs. That being said, good luck to the parties. O&B and Progress and Keg (whether working in concert or not) will be very surprised to see the results on Wednesday. They, simply, are not ACCESS. ACCESS was a well run machine (with some FBK backing) and with a real message. These indy parties are saying, "Come fight with us, just to fight." It won't resonate with the students. You will see. And yes, the system knows how to get the votes out in the runoff. The indy party candidates are nowhere near as popular as Jamal Sowell was, so that will be a real problem for them. Good day to you all.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:52,
Co-habitate with co-eds? Doesn't each one of those guys have a girlfriend? Other than that, good post. FBK is still relevant, but only to those people who seek out its benefits. They sell this image of all the big men on campus and people think that they will become that if they can just get into blue key. It's like a cult selling an idealist lifestyle, but instead they project an image of wealthy alpha males, with hot girls.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Will Atkins talk to Brandon before he committed political suicide? Great interview with McShera!

Anonymous said...

PENIS!

Bruce Haupt said...

2:05 AM and 10:45 AM,

I agree about the fact that FBK the organization is not itself working on the elections. I wish I didn't say it's FBK each time, and I have no doubt the org's officers are not that involved. I believe that FBK actually does a lot of good work on campus with some of its projects.

It's funny, though, that people who make a real impact working on FBK projects might not even get tapped. Through FBK's membership policies the organization gets used and becomes the vehicle for the SG politicos. We all know this. Because of the voting in of members, or blackballing of others, we have the factions that reward people with membership, or don't. If joining was as simple as the resume and the interview we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Also, good point by both of you about the relevance FBK still does have through connections and access. I'm not sure I'd say unfettered, but I'm familiar and would agree that it can get your foot in the door and that's important. However, there are many ways to network and build relationships.

On FBK corrupting UF, I agree with you that FBK doesn't do any of the dirty work. It's some of the organization's members.

Regardless, I appreciate both your responses and enjoy the conversation. I think you would both agree there can be positives and negatives to FBK and the political system at UF. We simply disagree on whether what we have now is a net benefit or a net cost. Agree to disagree.

And thanks for the forum Christian. ;)

Anonymous said...

christian did you know Jordan Johnson is going to have a wall built and erected to honor of Blacks at UF. And his statement at the HSA debate was classic. I will paraphrase but it was along these lines; "You people deserve to finally have something that recognizes your accomplishments, especially by someone who looks like you." So wow, blacks now to get to look at a wall to remind them of how they wake up every morning. And they can be proud because Jordan Johnson is trying to "unite" everyone even if it is horrible pandering.

Christian Duque said...

Bruce,

I know this will totally contrived, but I have always said it and mean it, 'you're a hero of this movement.'

I'm truly honored you enjoy my site.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:24

Will Atkins helped Brandon to do this. Their entire fraternity is in on it

Alpha Phi Alpha vs. the FIST?

Sounds good, but I gotta bet on the FIST.

Anonymous said...

FBK is, to this day, one of the last bastions of plantation politics in this country. It is inherently a sexist and racist organization, even in this day and age.

The African-Americans, the Hispanics, and even PC take the scraps that the white boys throw to them.

BSU, in particular, was formed as a protest organization and now begs and pleads its membership to not rock the boat; to not take what hasn't been given to them by the white boys of IFC/FBK to be divvied up amongst themselves.

The same is true with HSA but to a lesser extent. Much of the organizations under the HSA umbrella don't care about SG politics or FBK. HSA is disparate and weak as a political arm which is why Maryam Laguna was passed over for the executive ticket in 2008 and why in 2009 she asked to be run as VP but was told, "NO!," and instead run as Treasurer.

FBK tapping also keeps these two minority groups in line and at each others throats instead of the the throats of their masters. Talent has nothing to do with which Hispanics or African Americans get tapped. Each of these minority groups is only allotted so many taps and the current black or Hispanic caucus is allowed to decide who gets the slots.

"Here are your scraps, we don't care what you do with them, just divvy them up amongst yourselves."

PC's role within the whole operation is just a testament to how alive and thriving misogyny is. The entire PC system is kept in check by a desire for social standing on campus and within the Greek community. Homecoming pairings, disgustingly enough, are what keep the PC houses in line and on the reservation.

Make not mistake, FBK wants not women or minorities in its organization. It wants not them in its SG. It is aware to the existence of the ACLU and so it is with a heavy heart that it begrudgingly allows some token minority membership in its organization and its SG.

What this campus needs are TRUE cultural leaders. This campus needs leaders who will not play FBK's game and dare them to not tap a single ethnic minority and see what the consequences are. This campus needs cultural leaders that will stare the white IFC/FBK boy who holds the SBP post and DARE him to not put a single ethnic minority into cabinet and see what happens.

The system by which IFC/FBK is controlling this campus is ILLEGAL in this country. You cannot discriminate based on gender or race in the United States, ESPECIALLY at a public land grant institution such as the University of Florida.

The battle would be a hard fought one. The courts would be involved. The media spotlight glaring. The costs in the short term would be great. But, the long term gains of telling the white boys to go flip off would be so great not only to UF as a whole but to the the many minority communities at the University of Florida.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:24 and 7:40, good points. I'm with the FIST also. What's crazy is that Will thinks he can run a successful campaign a la Jamal Sowell when the Black community isn't on the side of Brandon White. To my knowledge, Will was told to take a seat when Vanessa was put up for VP, and has been bitter ever since. To use a talent such as Brandon White (as Brandon will be blocked from every position left at UF) for your own personal and selfish game is just ludicrous. I'm in a big PC house, but even I realize that once you thrown in the towel, you shouldn't jump back in to spite someone or a community. He should be ashamed of himself. I also feel bad for Maryam. She has worked so hard for SG, and truthfully would have worked wonders for the VP position. Alas, the beauty of life is the ability to be a multi-faceted team player. I wish her well. All in all, as a member of FBK, I agree with some points and disagree with others. I think FBK has racist roots, dating back to 1923, but then again, so does UF. I believe minorities can be successful in their careers post-FBK, but they must market themselves well. Many minorities don't have fraternal or sororal ties in addition to FBK ties. Both are important assets to getting the great jobs we all desire. I'm done ranting.

Anonymous said...

You are a lil off base with how FBK works with the cultural communities and PC.

Anonymous said...

11:20am is an angry Brandon White or another Alpha.

But you have no proof to support what you say. I know for a fact you are full of shit.

Anonymous said...

...and then everyone who wasn't in Florida Blue Key died poor and childless, you plebeian sacks of shit.

Anonymous said...

Have we gone to far with the commercials, just wondering how far is too far. I love the YouTube video that is like the apple pc commercial, but I think the attacks on Johnson and Vickers are a bit much.

What else will O & B do to win? They certainly are changing politics at UF, but I am not sure it is for the better. Can we now look forward to YouTube clips and commercials, that sling mud and dirt.

I guess to beat em you have to join em...