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Next week the UCSU spring elections are taking place, but Tuesday night student Tri-executive candidates gathered for a debate sponsored by the Campus Press and the UCSU election commission.
Around 50 people attended the debates during which the Tri-executive candidates for the three tickets, One, Drive and Solidarity, spoke for their respective tickets on the issues of diversity, student safety, student fees and higher education funding, among others.
Elections for the various positions are held each spring and this year the voting will take place from April 7 at 12:01 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 11.
Once again, three tickets are fighting for control of UCSU.
The One ticket is Chance Heath, Piers Blyth and Sarah Martinez. See the One ticket’s Web site for the other members of the ticket and more info.
The Solidarity ticket is made up of Brittany Havey, Michael Mazzone and John Rineck.
The Drive ticket consists of Dustin Farivar, Victoria Garcia, and Ryan Biehle. See the Drive ticket’s Web site for the other members of the ticket and more info.
Campus Press News Section Editor Jimmy Himes and UCSU Spokeswoman Sally Ho moderated the debate, along with several questions from the audience.
The One ticket pointed out their experience and connections with non-student leaders.
“The One ticket quite simply has the tools”, Heath said when explaining how his ticket would lobby for more funding. Heath is currently a Representative-at-large for Legislative Council.
Blyth also iterated part of the One ticket’s platform during the debates.
“One of the things we’re focused on is working with the state legislature to find opportunities for more affordable tuition for those students who would normally not have the opportunity to come to this campus,” Blyth said.
Diversity was a big issue at the debate.
While Blyth and the One ticket described diversity as transcending skin color, the Drive ticket prided themselves on their experience in working on diversity issues at CU.
“The Drive ticket has more than the tools, we’ve used the tools,” Farivar said.
Farivar who is currently the vice president of Legislative Council pointed out that candidates on the Drive ticket are involved in several diversity related programs.
“You have to be representative of those different groups”, Farivar said. “We are actively involved in those communities.
The candidates of the Solidarity ticket acted as a buffer between the One and Drive tickets between which several points of tension rose, especially between Legislative Council veterans Farivar and Heath who have been on opposite sides of several debates during their respective tenures with UCSU.
“These two tables need to have a group hug or something,” Havey said in response to arguing between the One and Drive tickets.
Rineck admitted that “we on the Solidarity ticket, we know exactly what it’s like to know nothing about UCSU.”
However, Rineck said that this makes the ticket the optimal one in regards to increasing student involvement in UCSU.
Havey later said Solidarity does not have ties to any particular student group, so they can represent all students equally.
Junior anthropology major Alexa Sample, 20, was said she was not impressed by the Solidarity ticket.
“They don’t really know the system real well” Samle said.
Sample asked the candidates how they would address issues of gender and diversity but from the responses she said she was not sure who she thought would win.
“It’s really hard to say right now who’s going to do the best,” Sample said.
Senior finance major Jay Holley, 22, said he was glad to attend the debate.
“I came in . . . just not knowing about any of the tickets”, Holley said. “I thought it was very informative. I really don’t know who I’m going to vote for. I’m trying to feel (the tickets) all out at this point.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Sam Dieter at firstname.lastname@example.org.