Last evening, candidates for various Student Assembly positions gathered to answer questions and present their platforms for the upcoming elections.
In a formal question and answer period, representative candidates for each undergraduate school, as well as minority liaison, international liaison, representatives-at-large and executive slates, were given time for opening statements and were then asked to answer questions from current S.A. President Ryan Lavin ’09 and Kent Hubbell ’68, dean of students. Afterwards, candidates themselves were allowed to interrogate their opposition, prompting spirited discussion.
The audience in the Straight’s Art Gallery was comprised mostly of candidates and current SA members.
In a brief introductory speech, Hubbell emphasized the “importance and independence” of the SA. Hubbell also urged future members of the SA to “maintain the highest possible standard” of operation in order accommodate the “serious unmet needs of [their] constituency.” Hubbell stressed that this was especially important in light of the SA’s “shenanigans of years past.”
Candidates for each elected office were then invited by group to form a panel at the front of the room, and were given the opportunity for a 45-second introduction, followed by questions from Hubbell and Lavin.
Questions concerning the consolidation of on-campus student groups, improvement of student life, and future legislative plans were met with candor and eloquence. Lavin’s entreaty to candidates to discuss what they had “already done to address issues of (their) platform,” was met with a diversity of reactions among candidates.
Murtza Manzur ’11 and Jon Dobrin ’11, candidates for president and vice-president as well as at large, appealed for an upgrade to two-ply toilette paper in campus bathrooms as well as more trash receptacles in public areas.
“There are no god-damn garbage cans on campus,” Dobrin said. The team’s online profile also states that they support a “shopping period” for classes at the start of every semester, subsidized bus passes for off campus students without increasing the Student Activities Fee,” and the establishment of a 24-hour coffee shop on campus.
Yuan Yao ’12, current freshman representative for the SA and candidate for international liaison, stressed the need for improved international financial aid and a reduction of operational paper usage at CU libraries. Yao also addressed campus housing, calling for a “reflection of facilities’ amenities in cost structure” for students.
Jeff Rehberger and Ruslan Gudny, running for president and vice-president as well as at-large positions, jointly advocated wireless internet throughout campus, the establishment of a Collegetown fitness center, free membership to current centers, and a free bus pass for all students.
The forum concluded with the candidates directing questions at their opponents, ranging from the mundane to contentious to accusatory. The presidential team, Chris Basil ’10 and Nikki Junewicz ’10, came under fire from Presidential Candidate Scott Purdy, after refusing to sign a “Clean Campaign Pledge” that Purdy had drafted. Basil, current vice-president of the SA, responded by saying that he and Junewicz did not wish to participate in a “publicity stunt” and preferred to stick “to the issues.” The discussion’s format did not allow Purdy a follow-up response.
Spring Undergraduate SA election results will be available Thursday, March 5. Further information about candidates can be found at the website for Office of the Assemblies.