There were many empty seats Thursday night at the Rathskellar as two out of the four candidates showed up to debate issues in the upcoming student government elections.
“I wished this place was filled up – I was trying to make eye contact with people to get my message across, but there was hardly anyone here,” said Vice Presidential candidate Andy Hooper.
Both parties agreed; the main reason for lack of student participation is an even greater lack of communication between the several divisions on campus.
“A greater amount of communication between student government and the student body is needed in order to achieve our goals,” said Vice Presidential candidate Gina Yacone.
Both candidates shared similar objectives.
Yacone and Hooper both opted to increase on-campus apartment security, noting that workers from Papa John’s sometimes use the washer/dryer machines for laundry.
They also plan on promoting awareness and communication towards upcoming campus events, as well as using the Ryder Center as a vehicle to promote campus activity.
Both parties share similarities in their approach to accomplishing their goals. Yacone plans on increasing awareness by handing out monthly flyers, extending Reach-Out-Week [a week in which students, officials, and representatives alike brainstorm for ideas on improving UM], and increasing student voter turnout for the upcoming elections.
Hooper wishes to make a unified Student Government calendar, inclusive of all campus events, activities , and functions for each month.
He also said he wants to promote Reach-Out-Week, but in addition, to hold monthly forums in which representatives from each school can attend to express their concerns.
To further increase awareness, Hooper said he plans on using Channel 13 to bring unity among the dorms as well.
After an hour of debating, the two candidates stepped off the platform, and the crackling of pool balls signaled the return to normalcy at the Rat. The reasons for the absence of the other vice presidential candidates, Justin Levine and Miriam Cortes, went unannounced.
When asked what the general impression of the debates was, one student remarked, “I don’t know man. I came here for the beer.”