ASG governmental hopefuls face off in annual debate
THE SANTA CLARA
April 21, 2016
There was little disagreement among candidates at the Associated Student Government’s election debate last night. Three tickets for president and vice president spoke to approximately 30 members of the campus community.
Common goals among the candidates were increased transparency, both within ASG and by the administration, as well as incorporating inclusion of various on-campus groups.
“It is in my opinion unacceptable for (the administration) to make these decisions without actively seeking out the voices of the student body as active stakeholders in important policy decisions,” said presidential candidate junior Ray Whelan. All three tickets made similar comments, expressing disagreement with the university’s decision not to consult students before creating the neighborhood units.
Candidates fielded questions from current ASG vice president Madeline Owen. She asked candidates to list specific actions they would take to increase transparency within the administration. The Betschart-Marioni ticket suggested that a new executive assistant position be created to take minutes at ASG minutes and publish them online. Whelan and Everett proposed more inclusion of student voices in administrative processes. Diaz-Fong and Feyzi also suggested making meeting notes and agendas public as well as putting more student voices on university committees.
“I think it’s important for all of us sitting up here… we want to increase student voices on campus, we want to be leaders… we’re gonna be the people who lead change… That’s great and all but I think it’s really important for you guys to listen to some real tangible ideas on how they’ll happen,” said vice presidential candidate Fred Feyzi.
Candidates offered additional suggestions for concrete policy changes. The Whelan-Everett ticket proposed creating two additional senator-at-large positions, Diaz-Fong and Feyzi suggested making it mandatory for senators to serve as liaisons to an allocated number of registered student organizations and Betschart-Marioni proposed three new at-large positions on the executive branch.
Student movements Unity 4 and Fossil Free SCU were not major topics of discussion. In regard to Unity 4, presidential candidate Lauren Betschart stressed the importance of empowering minority students. On the topic of sustainability, Diaz-Fong said that FFSCU’s “overall motive is great, but needs a little more help on the technicality side of things,” which Feyzi followed by suggesting further negotiations with the university regarding divestment.
The hour-long event concluded with final statements, in which they all expressed a desire to remain part of the organization if not elected when students go to the polls on April 25. All students, including seniors, can access the ballot through their eCampus account.
Contact Jenni Sigl at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4849.