Wednesday night’s CU Student Government debate was a face-off between the incumbent party, UNITE, and VOICE, formerly known as INSPIRE. The debate consisted of seven questions directed to each party focusing on student issues, followed by an
open forum with questions posed by audience members.The five candidates of each party are individually running for the Representative At Large position.
VOICE candidates Mitch Fenton, William Silkman, Coco Wham, Rachel Truong and Jacob Bornstein stressed the need for increased communication between students and university legislators, limiting spending and providing student groups with more financial support without the risk of increased fees.
UNITE candidates Divya Reddy, Paul “Taz” Sella, Colin Wichman, Andy Hemphill and Alex Mitoma maintained a platform that supported student groups, diversity inclusion and student safety, and look to lower tuition through communication at the state level.
Questions and responses
What can be done to get students, especially freshmen, involved at the University of Colorado?
“We have to fund student groups in a manner that is profitable and equitable for them to actually maintain outreach,” junior political science and economics major Paul “Taz” Sella said. “It is imperative that we make sure our cost centers for student groups maintain the level at which it is at.”
“The best way to have Buff pride is to be more than a student at your school,” senior political science and psychology major Mitch Fenton said. “One of the ways we want to accomplish this is sticking up for smaller clubs and giving them a voice in student government.”
What can be done to foster a healthy community on campus, including making sure students are aware of the dangers of drugs and alcohol?
“Talk about modern campaigns for drugs and alcohol safety, make sure it is interesting, not just the same dramatization,” junior economics major Jacob Bornstein said.
“Some of the messages the students are getting are out of touch with reality, the talk about prevention as apposed to taking responsibility for the risks requires more dialogue between RHA (Residence Hall Association),” junior civil engineering major Andy Hemphil said. “We need to increase communication on campus.”
How can we ensure that students are part of the conversation in the state and federal level discussions about tuition?
“Cuts to state funding impose tuition increases on students,” junior international affairs and business major William Silkman said. “It is a country wide trend that is difficult to reverse… more of CUSG’s time and resources should be allocated to managing what can be controlled, like how money from student fees are distributed.”
“High tuition deters some from attending university,” Sella said. “17 percent of students come from low-income backgrounds. Lack of funding is related to Colorado state legislature and if CUSG can communicate with them persistently, we can make a change in tuition.”
Both sides will begin campaigning for the upcoming election on campus Friday, Oct. 25 on Get Out The Vote Day. The election begins Monday, Oct. 28.