Election season heats up in second debate

Spinnaker

The second and final scheduled debate between presidential candidates from the Red, Yellow and United Ospreys parties was held March 25 in the UNF ballroom with about 75 people in attendance, most of which were sporting party colors of one hue or another.

The vice presidential candidates also participated in the debate.

SG Elections Supervisor Erica Richey moderated the debate with questions both general and specific, focusing on the qualities each candidate possesses.

United Ospreys presidential candidate and current Student Body Vice President Mike Saathoff said he wants to unite students and end apathy.

“We’ve got something for the athletes, the Greeks, I mean the list can go on,” Saathoff said.

He also stressed his role as a liaison, saying that he would stand in the gap between students and administration.

Communication was the most important ideal for Yellow Party presidential candidate Sitou Byll-Cataria. He said he would like to meet with students on campus and outside of SG offices in order to foster more communication.

The Red Team, as presidential candidate Tom Blanchard requested they be called, focused on its experience in Student Government. Blanchard was a senator before spending two years as Student Body President John Barnes’ chief of staff.

The candidates also had the chance to address real problems and propose solutions they would implement if voted into office.

The Yellow Party would focus on improving advising, creating a student job database and implementing a program called “Your Genius,” said vice presidential candidate Giovannie Medina.

“Your Genius” would create resume-building projects that would improve the campus and allow students in the school’s five colleges to work together for a common goal, he said.

The Red Team wants to help clubs understand the special requests and travel fund processes, Blanchard said. But United Ospreys vice presidential candidate Brandon Alanis said that clubs are aware of the process.

The treasurer and B&A chair were not making sure paperwork went through properly, Alanis said.

Clubs still don’t know all the avenues with which they can seek funding, said Red Team vice presidential candidate Laura McGregor. She said, for instance, that senate was justified in not funding LGBT’s t-shirt request.

“One reason why senate didn’t fund it, I feel, is because [LGBT] had other resources to get the funding,” McGregor said.

McGregor later apologized to LGBT student assistant Chris Fuller during a town hall portion of the debate in which he described the senate’s composure during his appeal as “feet on the table, unprofessional and ignorant gestures.”

“We wanna make sure there’s always people available to meet with club presidents if they have questions about budgeting,” Blanchard said.

Student and Swoop Squad leader Sebastian Marentes asked both the Red and Blue parties how they would address the preponderance of Greeks in appointed positions within SG.

There is an application and interview process and the Red Team will continue to pick the people they feel best fit the position, McGregor said.

“If they happen to be a KD or an SAE, then they happen to be a KD or an SAE,” McGregor said. “I can speak for Kappa Delta in saying that we are very ambitious.”

Discrimination on any level is wrong and, though there is a large Greek presence in SG, that should not change the fact that United Ospreys is there to serve everyone, Saathoff said.

“It’s not about the majority, it’s about the whole totality,” Saathoff said. “Unity is derived off of a totality or a whole as combining all its parts into one, and that is what we stand for.”

Voting will take place March 30 and March 31 in front of the Student Union and the Library. On March 31, voting will also take place between Building 14 and the Robinson Theater, Richey said.