ASEWU candidates make final pleas

Debates held May 1 and 2

By Libby Campbell, Senior Reporter

ASEWU candidate debates were held in the PUB May 1 and 2 to give nominees one last opportunity to make their stances known on issues important to fellow students.

E.B. Vodde, ASEWU legislative liaison, and Lauren Reyes, ASEWU executive assistant, moderated the debates.

Candidates were asked a series of questions. One candidate would have one minute to respond to a question, after which the second candidate had 30 seconds for a rebuttal. These roles then switched for each question.

Many positions did not have both candidates present for the debate. If only one candidate was present, he or she was given the allotted time to speak freely.

The legislative positions kicked off May 1 with a debate between legislative affairs candidates Jeffrey DeGon and Kelsy Watson.

When asked how she would increase student voter turnout, Watson said word of mouth is key.

“I think one of the biggest things we can do is put voter drives in high traffic areas,” she said. “We also have the web and social media, that kind of stuff.”

DeGon said he agreed with Watson and added, “I think if we get them talking about the topic of tuition that can spark interest and have a massive impact on elections.”

Student activities candidates were asked questions regarding Eagle Entertainment, club funding, residence halls and leadership development.

On the topic of Eagle Entertainment, candidate Madison Azim responded, “If I were elected, I feel that it is very key to work hand in hand with Eagle Entertainment to make things happen. I would need a good team at Eagle Entertainment to make these activities happen,” she said. “I’m very excited to start establishing that relationship upon being elected as student activities representative.”

Her opponent Kendal Davis said, “I think Eagle Entertainment is definitely very key to student activities that we have here. I definitely want to establish the best relationship possible.”

The remaining seven positions in the legislative branch had either no candidates or only one candidate show up.

Executive position debates, held May 2, had all candidates in attendance.

Finance vice president candidates debated on the topics of budget, clubs and organizations and accounting.

When asked to distinguish between areas where spending should and should not occur, candidate Saleh Alfayez replied, “The priority will [be] which one will benefit the students first. From this process I can go further and balance the expense between … which is most important and which is less important.”

His opponent Samson Hatton said he would take student needs into consideration. “If the students get something out of what we’re spending, then it’s going to be worth it. If the students aren’t getting something out of what we’re spending, there’s no point in doing it.”

Executive vice president candidates Caleb Morgan and Frank Navarro were asked questions on a variety of topics, including how to best receive student input on the impending PUB remodel.

Morgan said focus groups about what students want to see in the new PUB are something he wants to implement if elected.

“[The] biggest thing we need to start working on is getting students to come to the focus groups and say what they want in the PUB, what kind of services they’d like to see,” he said.

“When it comes to disagreements and what students want, I always believe compromise is the best answer. What’s going to benefit one student might not benefit the other, but we’re a student body as a whole, and we need to make sure we’re benefitting the most students possible,” Morgan said.

Navarro argued that while focus groups are important, they do not reach out to enough students.

“We need to have campus-wide, collective progress where we can come together to make decisions on what this place should look like,” he said.

If elected, he would plan on “putting out a survey on the internet or in The Easterner, or printing out surveys so students can really vote on the different changes that need to be made.”

Presidential candidates debated on the topics of administration, university experience and the board of trustees, among other topics.

When asked how he would make sure to represent the student body as a whole, D.J. Jigre said talking to students firsthand is most important.

“I am representing you here, I am advocating for you guys,” he said. “So I’m going to ask you guys questions. What are your concerns? What are your needs? What can I do for you? That’s what we want to make sure at of ASEWU.”

His opponent Aly Morgan said working to have student support is important to her.

“As my opponent said, it’s very important to have the students’ backing on every decision ever made. It is my responsibility as president to take those decisions that are made by the students and the representatives that they elect to the board of trustees,” Morgan said. “From there it is my position to advocate for that as strongly as possible and to the best of my ability.”