Debates let students quiz GSB senate candidates

Jennifer Nacin

As Government of the Student Body elections approach, GSB senate debates are giving 25 candidates the chance to tell students why they should be elected to office.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and College of Engineering have planned debates for 6 p.m. Thursday in 1002 Gilman Hall and 2055 Hoover hall, respectively.

Rather than using the debate format, candidates for GSB off-campus government senators will have a meet-and-greet session, where attendees can ask the candidates questions about their future GSB plans.

Off-Campus Government Senator Jennifer Eggleston said she expects to hear candidates discuss plans to foster better communication between off-campus government senators and their constituency.

The meet-and-greet is planned for 6 p.m. Thursday in 125 Kildee Hall.

The debates will consist of five- to 10-minute presentations from each candidate, explaining issues important to them and what they wish to happen if they are elected to the GSB senate.

A question and answer session follows the presentations, allowing people to ask questions and bring up any issues of concern, said Caleb Shinn, GSB elections commissioner.

“It’s going to be a full debate with questions and answers,” Shinn said.

“It will be a formal type setting, but we’re keeping it simple with time and scheduling issues, because there are a large number of students running for a large number of seats.”

GSB College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator Rohini Ramnath said she would like the debates to point out worthy candidates.

“I’d like to see more representation and more leadership among the LAS senators,” Ramnath said. “I’d like to see senators step up and see them be more accountable.”

Although many of the candidates running for senate positions do not have much experience on GSB senate, Ramnath said they will be able to bring fresh ideas into GSB.

GSB College of Engineering senatorial candidate Anthony Barsic, a sophomore in electrical engineering who is running for senate for the first time, said he will use the debate to help students gain a better grasp of the role GSB plays in their daily lives.

“I think one of the main things that will come up is the visibility of the student body,” Barsic said. “I think it will be important to stress the fact that GSB is fundamental to their education — I’m hoping the debates help them realize this.”

Barsic said he plans to discuss funding issues regarding engineering clubs on campus.

He said he also hopes to address the possible under-representation of engineering senators on GSB compared to the number of engineering students on campus.