About 25 students attended Associate Student Government’s president and vice president debate Monday afternoon outside of the Center of Student Involvement.
Two candidate teams participated in the debate. Ashley Vogts, junior integrated studies and pre-occupational therapy major and Jennifer Cheray, junior marketing major, are running for president and vice president, respectively. Laura Bosiljevac, sophomore political science major, and Michael Stauffer，sophomore speech and theater major, are also running for president and vice president, respectively.
“I think both teams put forth a lot of effort, and they communicate their ideas very well,” said Ross Rundell, junior theatre major.
Luke Chiddix, junior political science major, said the debate had an overall good turnout, but he wished more students had been involved.
The debate started with opening statements and then candidates answered nine questions from the audience. The first question asked what the major issues are for the student body.
Vogts thought students’ voices were lost sometimes and they want to “put students back in ESU, and make their voices be heard.”
“Most organizations don’t really know what ASG can offer them,” Cheray said.
Stauffer also said he was surprised to find that people do not know about ASG and student organizations do not know who their senators were.
“Something we also believe is a huge issue on campus can just be stated with one word – apathy,” Bosiljevac said.
Candidates also answered a few questions concerning improvement on ASG and the relationship between Recognized Student Organizations and their senators.
“ASG’s foundation right now is great,” Vogts said. “We want to take those positions that they set up last year in the fall, Multicultural Affairs liaison and International liaison, (and) utilize those and make them the best they can possibly be.”
Bosiljevac said they would focus on specific training for student senators and raising the standard of the student Senate.
“We will focus on each individual senator’s strength and tailor that to fit the RSOs’ needs,” Bosiljevac said. “We want to help them use their strength to benefit their RSOs to their fullest potential as well as grow themselves.”
To better utilize the potential of senators, Stauffer said when organizing a campus event, senators could talk to related RSOs that have knowledge on the subject and get the information back to ASG to make the event more successful.
To improve the relationship between senators and RSOs, both Bosiljevac and Vogts agreed that ASG should become more approachable and utilize more cross-programming to encourage joint efforts from different organizations.
“(Cross-programming) not only will help the campus as a whole because we have greater interaction within the members on campus, but also we will have better recruitment, better retention, (and) better involvement from students,” Vogts said.
Another question was asked about the benefits of bridging the communication between faculty and students. Bosiljevac said it is not always true that faculty know everything on campus.
“We can bridge the gap and facilitate the communication…we want to get to the point where it is not just us bringing the problem to administrators and faculties,” Bosiljevac said. “We are empowering other students to go to them because their message might be different than what we might bring.”
The debate ended with the candidates’ restatement of their goals. Bosiljevac said she and Stauffer aim to “connect, communicate and accomplish” to accommodate the wants of the student body.
“Our platform is to establish, solidify and unite,” Vogts said, “Establish face-to-face interaction between organizations and senators, solidify is to build upon the structure that has already been started and reform the positions already in ASG – we want to unite the campus as a whole, especially the students with faculty members.”