Gator Advance is an organization of UF students that works to provide a safe, inclusive environment for everyone on campus and in the Gainesville community, while also challenging the status quo. Unsatisfied with the current state of inequalities, members learn about the facets of social change issues, launch targeted community service efforts, and create initiatives to inform the public. Gator Advance seeks to provide an environment in which members can lead their own projects, develop their passions, and express themselves.
Our founders wanted to create an organization that didn’t use diversity and service as buzzwords but utilized them in a manner that created a space for students to actively seek. We wanted to create a space where all feel welcomed to transparently talk about change and emerge ourselves as a group that doesn’t require prior leadership experience for membership.
Diversity. Diversity goes beyond a single identity. By limiting the definition of diversity, we, as a society, won’t accomplish a long-term cultural change towards embracing the talents of all individuals. This organization was founded on celebrating the full range of differences and similarities that make us who we are. The importance of recognizing and valuing that diversity to create positive atmospheres that promote equity as the end objective.
Service. Service comes in all forms and shapes. Volunteerism teaches one to acquire skills and knowledge through understanding and compassion. Through community service, one can leave their mark locally, becoming advocates of causes that are globally influenced. Service goes beyond making a difference but developing civic responsibility and becoming aware of their community needs.
Connection. Passion and creativity thrive through one’s connection with their identity and the individuals around them. When one disconnects from who they are to protect themselves from their struggles, one tends to restrict their creativity and passion. Connecting with others, reminds us that we are never alone, facing strife or stride. Embrace the person you’ve become - it’s the experiences that have made you, you.