Ken Kerns: Vision ran for an extraordinarily long time, from Spring 1997 to Spring 2000. I was only around for its final two elections, when it failed to win any seats. And when I was there, I could see why – very little effort was made to build and sustain coalitions in the fall and spring, and especially at recruiting new activists. In Spring 2000, we were heavily reliant on the qualifications and diversity that our Treasurer candidate brought to the table as BOCC Treasurer and the first openly gay candidate for campus-wide office.
Gary Slossberg was a great person to work with – funny, friendly, and passionate about his beliefs. As the Vision presidential candidate in 1999, for example, he spearheaded an effort to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. Of all the political leaders I worked with at UF, he remains my favorite – I can’t quite explain why, but I think it has something to do with the fact that it took a lot to get him mad at you.
Vision was always like that, too – while not a “College Democrats” party, Vision was very much a socially liberal one that was skeptical of FBK and the greek system.
Voice 2001 was a bit different. Our platform was within the Vision tradition of “integrity, democracy, diversity” but our emphasis was on the plight of student organizations, and improving how SG worked. Our biggest fight was over giving more money to student groups – an amendment to the A&S Fee budget that Fusion bitterly opposed in the election but eventually sponsored when it came time to fund the organizational budget. We did not really campaign on social issues as much, although we favored more emphasis on a cleaner environment. With folks like Adam Guilette, a founder of the Liberty Project, on our side, our campaign was more about making SG more responsive, more decentralized.
It’s within the GDI tradition that Vision had cemented, but we had our own policy accents that made it a distinct force.
Argento, Capezza, Kerns: "The Big 3"