Student Senate debates began Thursday with an hour-long executive debate between the tickets Impact and UNITE in Front Room hosted by the Senate Elections Committee.
UNITE was represented by presidential candidate Hannah Clouser, vice presidential candidate Courteney Muhl and treasurer candidate Steve Lichtenfels. Impact was represented by presidential candidate Jordan Kelley, vice presidential candidate Alexis Apparicio and treasurer candidate Kiera Fletcher.
UNITE described its platform as a way to resolve the disconnect felt between areas of campus that it feels could benefit from partnership and cooperation. When asked about the greatest issue facing campus, Clouser indicated that not one single issue affected everybody on campus.
“We are a student body of over 20,000 students and each person is an individual that has their own individual issues,” Clouser said. “A challenge for one person may not be a challenge for another. I think some of the biggest overarching challenges are definitely student affordability, as well as the terrible climate we’ve seen on campus when it comes to racial issues as well as sexual assault.”
Impact responded to the same question, listing some of its main priorities as safety from domestic violence and sexual assault, student health on campus, an increase in the number of blue lights on campus and bus transportation to O’Bleness hospital.
While UNITE discussed the importance of utilizing the Biased Incident Reporting system through voluntarily anonymous incident reporting and a collection of accessible data, Impact felt the system was unsatisfactory.
“When an incident report is anonymous there is no way to follow up,” Apparicio said. “What Impact wants to do is re-establish a Diversity Affairs Commission, which is comprised of the director of the Multicultural Center, the multicultural program, the LGBT Center, the Women’s Center, etcetera.”
UNITE later discussed its reaction to the University Master Plan and how it will affect students, which included reiteration of its goals to broaden gender-neutral bathroom accessibility, renovations that benefit all students regardless of physical disability and environmentally sound construction.
Senior geography major and member of the Impact ticket Noah Hajivandi felt that both sides gave too many non-answers during the debate.
“During the last question, which was about what each ticket would do in a situation with unlimited money, I would have said faculty pay increases, deferred maintenance and new buildings on South,” Hajivandi said. “The debate was interesting, but I feel like these things were left out.”