News

No SG debates to be held this election

Student Government [SG] election candidates were informed earlier this week that the yearly presidential and vice-presidential debates will not take place this year.

“The main point of a debate is if there is confusion on who to vote for if a large number of people compete,” Martin Cruz-Mesa, Elections Commission chair, said.

SG presidential candidate Pete Maki feels that since there were eight candidates in last year’s election, there was more hype.

“But elections never differ in their seriousness,” Maki said. “I would hope that this year’s elections would carry as much weight as last year’s.”

According to Cruz-Mesa, the fact that there would be no debates has been public since last year.

“We submitted an election calendar to the Senate last year, and it didn’t have a debate scheduled,” Cruz-Mesa said. “They voted to approve it. In the past, debates have not been well attended, and the people who do go usually already support one candidate or another”

However, Pamela Schiess, SG presidential candidate, feels that the debate serves a necessary purpose.

“A debate is what really defines the candidate,” Schiess said. “This takes away from students being able to discuss ideas and talk to candidates in an open forum.”

Maki said that he was disappointed there would be no debates because the few people who do attend spread the word of the election. Minal Ahson, current SG vice president, said that debate watchers last Spring took away what shocked or impressed them and were able to start conversations regarding candidates.

“A debate is what really defines the candidate.
This takes away from students being able to discuss ideas and talk to candidates in an open forum.”

– PAMELA SCHIESS,
SG presidential candidate

“I don’t know how much the debates changed people’s minds last year, but issues were raised and spread afterward by word of mouth or the newspaper,” Ahson said.

The Elections Commission did arrange Meet the Candidates, held yesterday, an opportunity for students to speak to candidates.

“Meet the Candidates acts as a platform between the students and candidates-the same purpose as a debate is served there,” Cruz-Mesa said.

Schiess said that she thought the Meet the Candidates session would be more similar to tabling than debating. Maki concurred, saying that the candidates have already had two days of tabling and could use more media in which to clarify their platforms.

“I’ve noticed both candidates have a few similar-looking points on the palm cards,” Maki said. “A debate is a great way for students to compare candidates on something other than what they see on the cards.”

Cruz-Mesa said that students could distinguish from candidate to candidate based on palm cards.

“If you actually read the palm cards and don’t just glance at them and throw them away, you will see the difference between the candidates,” Cruz-Mesa said.

Many students are aware that elections are imminent, and some feel that the presence of a debate might be helpful.

“Since I’ve had information shoved in my face every time I walk back and forth from the UC, I learned about the candidates,” Rosh Ranasinghe, junior, said. “I didn’t even know that debates were held, but if I had, I would want to see them because they might give me insights into the candidates.”

Reeva Oza can be contacted at r.oza@umiami.edu.

February 25, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Darrell Langham, the redshirt junior receiver who caused an uproar among Miami Hurricanes fans the p ...

This news release just in from the University of Miami, another impressive class about to be inducte ...

The University of Miami men’s basketball team got a welcome dose of good news on Monday night. Verno ...

After a disheartening week of practice injury-wise following the University of Miami’s victory at Fl ...

University of Miami’s highly-touted freshman Lonnie Walker, who had surgery for a torn right meniscu ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

A summer 2017 excursion unlike any other united a group of University of Miami students and faculty ...

Darrell Langham has been a hero twice this season, but his path to prominence has been a long one. ...

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame has announced the Class of 2018 inductees for the 50th A ...

Senior diver Wally Layland was recognized for her standout performance at the SMU Classic with ACC C ...

University of Miami freshman Lonnie Walker IV was among 20 players named to the watch list for the 2 ...

The Miami Hurricanes will begin preparation for the 2018 season when fall practice commences Wed., O ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.