This Tuesday, twelve students campaigned at “The Great Debate” for five CCSGA positions next year. Moderated by Ari Glantz, the debate covered issues ranging from transparency and representation, to mascots and costumes.
“It continues to confuse me why it is called a debate when there is no debating actually happening. However, I feel that it is a wonderful way for students to get to know the candidates and see their ability to speak publicly,” said Matt Nadel ‘15, who spoke in the place of presidential candidate David Wright ‘15.
Each candidate had time for an opening statement, then answered a few questions and scenarios posed by Glantz. Afterwards, the audience was able to raise questions.
Communication between the CCSGA and students was one of the main issues discussed. Participation at CCSGA events has been a constant challenge for CCSGA. This year, food and alcohol were provided to draw students to the debate.
“I want to see CCSGA be a resource for students and student groups. I want CCSGA to be more than just a venue for student groups get funding, because I know that CCSGA has a lot to offer the student body,” Allie Romo ‘14, presidential candidate, said.
When asked how they would truly represent their constituents and communicate across campus, there were several creative responses.
“Communication between every single student and the president would be done in a survey, with six possible initiatives that students would rank. The website is available to all the people who need it, but it’s not student friendly, we need something very, very easy that says ‘this is what we’re working on,’” presidential candidate Isaac Green said.
“David [Wright] is more than willing to give out his personal information to every student on campus so they are truly represented,” Nadel said, responding to the same question.
In regards to gender, last year there was only one woman in the CCSGA council, so there was a focus on drawing female candidates for positions. Five candidates were women this year.
“They went to different sororities and FemCo and recruited, they also recently hosted a ‘Women in Government’ panel with Brandy Williams, who is running for City Council. [These efforts] encouraged me to run,” Ashley Johnson, candidate for VP of Student Outreach, said.
Regarding the questions asked, the candidates agreed that most issues were addressed.
“I would have really liked to see some more factual and ‘gotchya’ type questions. This would have helped people realize which candidates had done their research and actually want the job. [The debate was] light and fun, but sometimes there need to be some tough questions,” Nadel said.